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New format planned for next season's East Anglian Premier League competition

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Plans to increase the East Anglian Premier League to two divisions have been revealed.

Burwell & Exning’s withdrawal from the 2022 campaign has left the division a team short, but the league’s management committee have announced proposals to revamp the structure.

The EAPL will run with 11 teams for 2022, and the bottom club will be relegated.

It will remain as 10 teams during the summer of 2023, and the format will consist of nine 50-over matches and nine 120-over matches, but the reduced number of games will also permit a T20 competition at the start of the season, with the winner going on to represent the EAPL in the national T20 tournament.

But a new EAPL Division Two will be created, called the East Anglian Premier Cricket League Championship.

It will be formed of the 11th-placed team in the EAPL at the end of the 2022 season, and the top three teams in each of the feeder leagues – the Cambs & Hunts Premier League, the Norfolk Alliance and the Two Counties Cricket Championship.

The playing format will be 18 50-over matches, and the season will also start with a T20 competition.

There will be automatic promotion and relegation between the divisions, with one club going up and one club going down.

The 10th-placed club in the championship will go into a play-off competition with the winners of the respective feeder leagues, as currently happens in the EAPL.

A statement from the EAPL said: “Where a club placed in the top three positions of the feeder league in 2022 fails to meet ECB Premier League criteria or declines the opportunity to play in the newly created EAPCLC, then a lower finishing club may be invited to participate at the discretion of the management committee.

“The management committee believe that these changes will strengthen cricket across East Anglia by providing a performance pathway for clubs and players, increase financial support from the ECB and also align the different cricketing formats (T20, 50 overs, long format) to the structure of the NCCA season.”

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