Burnham Sports are gearing up for the new cricket season.
They were due to complete their pre-season preparations with a friendly away to Little Waltham on Saturday but the match was cancelled.
The first XI will again be competing in the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League first division, while the club’s seconds will be playing in division nine.
Burnham’s seconds staved off relegation from division eight on the final day of last season but the league has been restructured to cater for four new clubs. As a consequence, they have been demoted.
Subsequently, Chignal have disbanded one of their two sides and that means Burnham’s first team will be playing in a nine-team division.
“It’s all got a bit messy and, unfortunately, the first team will have two blank weekends this summer,” said Andy Stephens, who has played for Burnham for more than 30 years.
“Theoretically, we could play our whole first team in two second XI games but, in common with every other team in the league, we’ve received correspondence from the league reminding us about the spirit of the game and that they will take a ‘dim view’ of any opportunity to pack a lower-league side with higher-division players.
“We will take that on board.
“Towards the end of the season, the league have also said they will be keeping a lookout for teams that attempt to adopt strange selection policies in an attempt to manipulate promotion and relegation issues.”
Jamie Hamilton will continue to captain the first team, with Greg Campion skippering the reserves.
Burnham will not be playing regular Sunday fixtures but will instead hold practice sessions on that day. The first team don't have a game on Saturday but the seconds are at home to Southend Trojans seconds.