THE Halifax League have been quick out of the blocks in announcing their schedule for the 2021 season.

After the Government’s roadmap back to ‘normality’ was announced on February 22 and the subsequent confirmation from the ECB that recreational cricket can go ahead, the Halifax League are all geared up for starting their campaign on the weekend of April 17-18.

Their proposed finishing date is September 11 or 12, depending on whether teams play Saturday or Sunday matches.

Premier Division first and second teams and Second Division first teams will, all being well, begin play on Saturday, April 17, with Sunday League First and Second Divisions starting the following day.

First and second teams in the First Division and second teams in the Second Division begin their league programme on Saturday, April 24, followed by Sunday League Division Three, which is split into two conferences, the next day.

The Halifax League statement continues: “The ECB is to issue further guidelines in the next few days on how cricket should conduct itself.

“However, if the restrictions follow those in place from last July, the league believe it paramount that the season should start on time.

“Hopefully if all goes well, particularly with the COVID-19 vaccination programme, we trust that a few weeks into the season some, if not all, restrictions will be lifted and there will be a return to some normality.”

In the Premier Division for first teams, both Thornton and Shelf Northowram Hedge Top begin with away matches on April 17 – at Sowerby Bridge and Illingworth St Mary’s respectively.

Cullingworth and Queensbury both travel in the Second Division first teams – at Outlane and Leymoor respectively.

The following Saturday (April 24), the First Division for first teams begins, with Oxenhope at home to Mount, while Clayton and Low Moor Holy Trinity are at Sowerby St Peter’s and Upper Hopton respectively.

Crossflatts have to wait until May 2 to start their Sunday League programme – at home to Bradshaw in Division Three Conference North East.