Representative Cricket: District
Within Wiltshire, district cricket is run at under 10, 11, 13 and 15 age groups across five districts which are as follows:
The process for selection into district cricket is that clubs are asked to nominate players for district trials every Autumn. The trials are used to identify players to be invited on to a 12 week winter performance programme for their district age group. However, some players may be invited to attend a county trial following their district trial in order to achieve selection to the county winter coaching programme.
Following the culmination of the winter coaching programmes fresh county and district trials are held to select summer squads at both levels. At the district trials specifically there will be the possibility of players that were not involved during the winter being invited to a trial. Also, as with the autumn trials, there is the opportunity for district players to move up to county level and vice versa. This remains the case during the summer as all district performances are monitored closely by the relevant county age group coach in order for them to identify prospective players should they need to change their squad.
In terms of the summer match play programme all district age groups play in a league format against the four other districts. However, some district coaches will also arrange further fixtures in order to provide more cricket at this level.
District Cricket Changes for 2013 and beyond
During November and December 2012, Alan Crouch, Head of Performance, and Pete Sykes, Cricket Development Manager, met with each team of district coaches on an individual basis to discuss various aspects of District Cricket in order to try and riase the profile and improve the identity of District Cricket from the 2013 season onwards.
The meetings were very productive with lots of good ideas and feedback coming back from coaches from within each district. The upshot of the meetings is as follows:
In previous seasons, there had been a disappointingly high number of matches that have been cancelled and not rearranged. Wiltshire Cricket recognises that in order for players to continue to strive for district selection, there must be sufficient opportunity for matchplay. Therefore, the series of district meetings were used to stress the importance of all district fixtures taking place. As a result, district coaches now have the freedom to re-arrange any cancelled games for mid-week dates even if this means playing different length games to those that are scheduled.
District 20/20 Competition
In addition to the district league fixtures that take place throughout the season, it was agreed that at the start of each season, there will be a 20/20 one day competition for each of the district age groups.
There is no longer an expectation on parents to purchase shirts, jumpers and caps for players selected in district squads. Instead, the minimum expectation for district players is to purchase a cap. However, this cap can only be purchased once selected for a district match. At this match, each district player will be presented with their district cap before the start of that match. This is to raise the profile and significance of being selected for district Cricket.
From 2013 onwards, umpires are now appointed to district matches. This is to improve the professionalism of district Cricket. The umpire appointments are funded from match fees and replace teas for under 13s and 15s.