The Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire county cricket boards are collaborating to form a new organisation – Cricket East – which came into effect on Sunday, October 1.
The move aims to streamline and improve the delivery of cricket participation and growth initiatives, increase effectiveness, increase resilience, create efficiencies that will be ploughed back into grassroots cricket and focus on the growth and development of club and community cricket, the organisation said in a media release last week.
Each county will still maintain their own representative teams and keep their identity so Bedfordshire will still play Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire will still play Hertfordshire and so on.
Martin Darlow, chief executive of the newly-formed body, said: “These are exciting times that will ensure we are all working together for the good of cricket.
“This collaboration has been discussed since 2015 and makes common sense and a natural progression as we are all delivering the same service and product.
“The level of resource and service to cricket clubs, players and communities will be enhanced. There has been a lot of hard work by a small number of people in a very short time to make this happen.”
Matt Blakely, regional head of participation and growth (east) for the England & Wales Cricket Board, said: “Over the last three years, the seven county cricket boards in the east of England have been discussing and working on ways to share resource and maximise their impact.
“This move by Beds, Cambs, Herts and Hunts is a landmark step for how support is delivered to the cricket network. “The aim to put clubs at the heart of cricket delivery shows our ambition for growing the game at the grass roots and will hopefully be a welcome change.”