THE Shepherd Neame Cricket League will be running a nine week season this summer.

The campaign had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But SNEL chairman Thomas Clarke has now confirmed a shortened season will soon be getting underway.

“We will carry out a nine week league season from 18 July to 12th September,” said Clarke.

“There will be no League Cup due to lack of support for that tournament but we will run a T20 competition.

“From the survey, as expected, all clubs had many different requirements, wants and needs.

“And it was clear from the start that we, as a league committee, were never going to be able to satisfy all our clubs.”

The usual divisions have been split into different tiers which have been named after Essex legends.

Billericay are in the Premier tier ‘Gooch division’ while Benfleet, Hadleigh, Horndon, Leigh, Old Southendian, Stanford, Wickford and Westcliff are all in first tier ‘Cook division.’

And Clarke is confident it can work well.

“If we all work together and it stops raining then we can still have a memorable summer of cricket,” said Clarke.

“The way the divisions have been created is by splitting them into different tiers - we have a Premier tier which is unregionalised - and then a first to fourth tier - all with divisions that have been regionalised and matched together for similar strength.

"This means that some first teams will be playing second teams and some second teams will be playing third teams.

"We feel this was the fairest and safest way for us to create new fixtures at such short notice."