The Phoenix 15 Cricket League will not take place this summer.
The popular midweek eight-a-side league has raised more than £15,000 for charity since its inception in 2006.
However, the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought a halt to all sport, has left the league’s management committee with little choice but to abandon plans to play this year.
Sadly, the lack of games – and subsequent income – means that the league will be unable to make donations to their chosen charities in 2020. The Foster Carers’ Association and the Alice Charity were due to be the beneficiaries.
Secretary Roger Machin said: “The Phoenix 15 Officers recently held a video meeting which the League Chairman took part in along with representatives of the other local leagues and Staffordshire Cricket.
“Following the ruling that domestic cricket will not start before 1st August we took the difficult decision that the Phoenix 15 competition would not take place this year.
“The timescales made it impossible for us to get the minimum 50 per cent of games in and then organise a finals day. The nature of our game being an evening game means that we maximise the evening light available by staging our zonal games so that the halfway stage is near to the summer solstice.
“If we were to play at a later stage of the summer we would find games curtailed by bad light. We are also aware that the risk of infection is still relatively high and the safety of our players must take priority.
“Clubs will not be required to pay the annual League fees this year. However, the League has still had the expense of the annual insurance to pay and with no income from League fees, handbook advertising or finals day takings this year the knock-on effect is that funds are considerably depleted and we will therefore be unable to make a donation to our chosen charities this year.
“We hope our member clubs will ride out this exceptional situation and hopefully stay with us for the 2021 season.
“The League officers will continue to liaise by video conference and will be in contact with member clubs when the situation eases and it is safe to hold a physical meeting.”
The league sees teams split in to four zones, with the winners progressing to finals day.
Nantwich are the current holders of the trophy after beating Porthill Park in last year’s final at Ashcombe Park.