I don’t know how I managed to do everything when I was working full- time. After two weeks’ work at the university I’m struggling to fit in all I need to do. That is my rather weak excuse for there being no blog last week – my apologies! 
Collegiate new signing Shaaiq Choudhry in action 
Jack Shutt batting watchfully for Doncaster 
A week last Saturday, we had to go to Grimsby in the morning – sod’s law that Cleethorpes were not at home of course! So we popped in at Doncaster for an hour or so to see some of the game against Collegiate. By the time we arrived, Doncaster were replying to the visitors’ 122. Run scoring was clearly not easy, and it took a grafting innings from James Ward to see the home side tovictory, and top spot in the league table. Kirsty had a do on in Barnsley, so we had to leave before the end, and, to be honest, the cold wind meant that it was hardly cricket-watching weather. We did, however, manage a few photos for the website. 
In the evening I went up to Woolley to see Mark Beardshall, and, joined by the Andy Froggett and the Chapman brothers – I really struggle to tell them apart, we discussed ideas for possible league restructuring. It was business mixed with pleasure – I am always made very welcome there, and in that company there were many diversions and anecdotes, which made it a very pleasant evening. Our look at ideas for restructuring was sparked by a remark by Chris Cobb in a committee meeting last year. He spoke of the need to attract and keep younger players in the game. Given the popularity of the pink ball game with its coloured clothing, and that of the t20 format in general, we subsequently decided to work up some options and put them out for consultation. Mark has, over many years stretching back well into the old Yorkshire league days, advocated restructuring the league programme to embrace other formats – and he his ideas will form a big part of our proposals. 
By coincidence, I have recently learned that reviewing league structures is one of the three priority areas that will determine our ECB performance payments this year – so our review is very timely. One point that I must make is that we do not have to restructure – a consultative review will satisfy ECB. One option that will be included is to stay exactly as we are. Others will focus on more pink ball cricket – whether t20 or 50-over. 
The two other performance areas are live scorers and use of Play Cricket Pro – an area that we excelled in last year, and I am confident that we will continue to do so. The third area is to have female representation on league committees. I confess that my initial reaction to this was not particularly favourable – because I have difficulty with is the idea of appointing a ‘token woman’ onto a committee. I think that it is wrong. 
Having talked with Gareth Davis and Steve Ward at length about the issue, I believe that there is something very positive that we could do, that will benefit the committee and the league in general. It is clear that womens’ cricket is gaining increasing importance on the ECB agenda, and the idea that we could have someone on the committee who would champion not only womens’ cricket, but other participation initiatives in general, is a very attractive one – and it is a role that would be very well suited to a female committee member. Also, as was pointed out at our committee meeting this week, there is no doubt that having a woman on our committee would also bring us different perspectives and skills. So this is something that we will be following up on over the coming weeks. 
Last weekend, we had family visitors on Saturday and Sunday, so that limited my cricket-following activity to following our matches on live scores. After the first weekend, it has certainly not been a great start weather-wise, and we can only hope that it will improve. I was, however, pleased to see that my old friends at Cleethorpes managed to beat the weather and maintain their fine start to the season – achieved without key player Alex Osmond and prior to the arrival of their South African opening bowler. It was good too to see Elsecar gain a second win that will help to quieten their pre-season detractors. 
After that, it was back to work again. Andrew Watson at YCB described exam invigilation to me this week as ‘boring’ – but that has certainly not been my experience. You are dealing with people – which is always interesting – and there is no shortage of incidents of one sort or another. 
On Wednesday night, the committee met at our usual venue in Doncaster. As I remarked afterwards, we often struggle to keep the meeting to within its allotted two-hour timeframe, but we meet only every two months between March and September, and there is often a lot to discuss and no shortage of opinions. I have already referred to our discussions on restructuring and the participation role, and I will not go into more detail here. As usual, we will publish the notes of the meeting on the website over the next couple of weeks. 
This week, we shall go to see Cleethorpes play Whitley Hall – hopefully the weather will allow a result to be achieved there again this week – whilst keeping our eyes on what goes on elsewhere. On Sunday, it is the group stage of the YSPL t20 competition, with games at Barnsley, Tickhill and Wakefield Thornes. Next week is the last of the current exam season, and we are winding down a bit, with two full days and two half days – so there should be no excuse for not doing a blog next week! 
Till then,  
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