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Champions Ludlow won't get chance to go up

Ludlow Cricket Club have expressed their 'crushing disappointment' after being denied a spot in the Birmingham League play-offs despite winning the Shropshire County League.

Champions Ludlow won't get chance to go up

Ludlow grabbed their first title in 25 years last weekend and, as a result, they would usually go on to compete for a spot in the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League (BDPCL) against the winners of the South Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire leagues.

However, they were deemed not to have met BDPCL criteria having not fielded an under-15s team this season.

An appeal against the decision was rejected, with second-placed Whitchurch instead taking their place in the play-offs.

Ludlow have released an open letter on the unique situation and an excerpt read: "We find the lack of understanding and the lack of flexibility shown by the Birmingham League incredibly disappointing. Their position appears to be that they are adhering to ECB guidance and that their rules have been in place for some time.

"That may be so, but if it really is the case, then we feel the rules, as well as any guidance, need looking at too.

"The frustration is even greater knowing that there are already teams in the Birmingham League who do not meet the exact criteria we are being judged upon."

Ludlow currently have 65 junior members while they have teams from under-9s through to under-13s.

They had not entered an under-15 team – for the first time in more than 15 years – due to a lack of players following two Covid-affected summers.

Stourport, the winners of the Worcestershire League, have also been denied a place in the play-offs for the same reason.

Ludlow are not thought to have made an official complaint to the ECB but hope to have a response from them.

The open letter added: "We may not have progressed through the play-offs as the opposition would be tough and we are probably punching above our weight, but we strongly believe we at least deserve the chance to give it a go.

"If it is too late for us to be included, we wish our county colleagues, Whitchurch, good luck in the play-offs and offer the same message to the other teams involved too.

"We are 100 per cent aware that more important things have happened in the past few days, but, as a club, we decided we wanted to share our thoughts about the sense of injustice we feel.

"We would not want other clubs to suffer the same crushing disappointment we have had."

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