THE Bradford & District Evening Cricket League are optimistic about returning to a two-division structure next season.

With only 12 teams for 2021, the league opted to allow each team to play the other once, giving them each 11 games.

However, with the resignation of Buttershaw St Pauls and Windhill-Daisy Hill being compensated for by the additions of Bradshaw and Shelf Northowram Hedge Top and possibly others, the league are hopeful of having at least 14 teams for 2022.

This would mean a return to two divisions, with each playing their opponents home and away, giving 12 matches for each club.

League secretary Phil Poole Snr told the league’s annual meeting at East Bierley Cricket Club: “Baildon could also be joining as could Bradford College,” while league chairman Brian Lymbery threw in another potential club in John Breare & Calverley.

He added: “Shelf Northowram Hedge Top might be putting in two teams, but they would be treated as separate entities and could not swap players.

Teams that have showed interest but then pulled back include Crossflatts, Bowling Baptists and Hepworth & Idle, whose entry could still materialise for 2023.

The league’s executive committee will determine whether there will be one or two divisions.

Great Horton Park Chapel will again host the league’s finals day on August Bank Holiday Monday after beating off opposition from Shelf Northowram Hedge Top and Bankfoot.

Leage treasurer Smita Lymbery reported a loss of £231 in the year up to October 31, 2020 and a loss of £303 in the year up to October 31, 2021.

There is still £2,286 in the bank but the losses do underline the importance of finding an overall league sponsor or sponsors.