Swardeston enter Biss Trophy replacement

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Swardeston are one of 16 teams who have entered a new cup competition to replace the Biss Trophy for next season.

The Norfolk Umpires and Scorers Association have revived the 50-over Sunday competition after sponsors of the Biss announced last month that the 2008 final would be the last, citing concerns that the spirit of cricket was not being upheld.

The new competition, sponsored by Clowes & Nash Auctions, will be known as the Norfolk Association of Cricket Officials Invitation Cup.

Sixteen teams will be invited to take part in the inaugural year. These will be: the six East Anglian Premier League sides – Fakenham, Great Witchingham, Horsford, Norwich, Swardeston and Vauxhall Mallards; eight teams from the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division – Acle, Brooke, Cromer, Diss, Downham, Lowestoft, North Runcton and Topcroft; and the two teams relegated from the Alliance Premier Division last season – Old Buckenham and Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers.

One of the major changes from the Biss competition is that no prize money will be on offer to the winners. Another difference is that only one overseas player from each side will be allowed to play, while the draw will, unlike the Biss Trophy, be unseeded.

The first round of the Invitation Cup will be played on Sunday, June 7, with the final at Great Witchingham on Sunday, September 6.

There will also be a shield competition for teams knocked out in the first round. The first round of that will take place on Sunday, July 6 and the final, at Old Buckenham, will be on Sunday, August 30.

John Moore, treasurer and membership secretary of the Norfolk Umpires and Scorers Association, said: “The Biss Trophy has been run in a very efficient manner over the years and we felt that a 50-over competition is the way forward for Sunday cricket, so we wanted to keep it going.”

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