PLAY has returned to the Cumbria Cricket League but in a vastly different format to the usual 50 over game.

Teams from across the county are participating in the Lukeys Sports sponsored T20 competition with coloured clothing being used for the matches.

In the opening match on Saturday July 17, Carlisle handed debuts to 16 year old Charlie Hutchinson and former Durham pro Paul Hindmarch, who have both been added to their Premier League winning squad from last season.

The city side have started well with two T20 victories over Wigton at Edenside and they will also come up against Penrith and Keswick in the North East qualifying section in the coming weeks.

In the opening T20 match, Wigton batted first and were grateful to Chris Hodgson (38) and John Reed (43) in taking their total to 113-8. Paul Hindmarch returning figures of 3-12 and Michael Slack 2-9 for the home side. Carlisle in reply reached the total with 8 balls to spare, finishing on 115-5. Ben Davidson top scoring with 44 not out supported by Hindmarch with 31 including three big sixes.

The home side batted fist in the second game and posted an impressive 141-6 with James Lythgoe making an excellent 57 and Paul Hindmarch 23, again clearing the large Edenside boundaries three times. Chris Hodgson returned fine figures of 4-23. In reply Wigton struggled to keep up with the rate, closing on 100-9 with Conn, Hutchinson and Musgrave picking up two wickets each.

Carlisle’s Club Secretary Mark Davidson commented “This is a very different format for the Cumbria League to have adopted, but one which a number of leagues across England are taking on board. Given the timescales I think the League have done well to get this off the ground.

"Great credit must also go to the Eden Valley League who have also worked hard in these difficult times to get cricket started across many of our local clubs. It’s just great to see our juniors also getting the opportunity to play cricket again at Carlisle and thanks must go to our Development Officer Fraser Conn for all the hard miles in tricky circumstances. Our bar facilities are open on match days but we ask our supporters to observe the protocols that we have put into place in and around the club”.