Everards Leicestershire County Cricket League sides ready for the off

Egerton Park First XI EMN-180425-131334002
Egerton Park First XI EMN-180425-131334002
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Our borouh’s cricketers will try again this weekend as the Leicestershire and Rutland County League season begins at the second attempt.

Months of heavy rain forced league officials to take the almost unprecedented step of delaying the start of the season by a week as clubs across the region struggled to prepare pitches in time.

Premier Division side Barkby United will be led by Tom Flowers (front row, second right) EMN-180425-131350002

Premier Division side Barkby United will be led by Tom Flowers (front row, second right) EMN-180425-131350002

But a week after the country was bathed in warm sunshine, Saturday’s opening round of matches could typically face further disruption, with heavy rain forecast for much of Friday, adding to Tuesday’s deluge.

Barkby United and Syston are both under new captains as they lead the charge for our sides in the Premier Division.

Tom Flowers replaces his brother Steve as skipper at Barkby, where he also remains director of cricket, while Mo Pardesi steps in for Umar Razzaq, due to the latter’s work commitments.

Melton rivals Egerton Park and Thorpe Arnold are set to renew acquaintances in Division Two after contrasting seasons.

Park looked well set for a shot at promotion following a strong first half of the season, but faded out of contention to fifth, while Thorpe fought off the spectre of a third successive relegation as a late-season flourish resurrected another tough campaign, finishing third-bottom.

A stuttering second half of the summer also cost Melton Mowbray a chance of back-to-back promotions to Division Two, having also looked well set, thanks largely to the runs and wickets of the well-travelled Carel Fourie.

They chalked up 11 wins - the joint highest in Division Three - but finished just off the pace in sixth.

Fixtures (1pm unless stated) –

Premier (12.30pm): Barkby United v Barrow Town; Syston Town v Market Harborough.

Division Two: Egerton Park v Newbold Verdon; Thorpe Arnold v Broomleys.

Division Three: Bardon Hill v Syston Town Second XI; Melton Mowbray v Barkby United Second XI.

Division Four East: Langtons Second XI v Queniborough.

Division Five East: Leicester Caribbean Second XI v Market Overton.

Division Six East: Bharat Sports Second XI v Thorpe Arnold Second XI.

Division Seven East: Barkby United Third XI v Leuva Patidar; Queniborough Second XI v Egerton Park Second XI.

Division 10 West: Queniborough Fourth XI v Loughborough Outwoods Third XI.