Club cricketers will tomorrow night hear of proposals to safeguard the future of the Hampshire League - including shortening games and introducing earlier start times.

Anyone involved at a Hampshire League club is welcome to attend the ‘#HantsGameChanger’ players' meeting in the Ageas Bowl's Shane Warne Suite tomorrow (7:30pm).

They will hear about key proposals aimed at helping to deliver the cricket that the players want to play.

Clubs will vote on which ones to implement at the Hampshire Cricket League AGM on February 15.

All proposals have been put forward as a result of information gathered from Hampshire Cricket Unleashed - an ECB-backed programme to make cricket more accessible - as well as a player survey last summer.

A new ten-team divisions format will be proposed to help reduce players’ travel by up to 28 per cent, allowing more time for players to juggle other commitments.

The Hampshire Cricket Board’s cricket development manager, Simon Jones, said: “Most leagues across the country have ten teams per division and there are a lot of benefits, with clubs getting to know each other better and not having to travel as far.

“There are currently up to 18 teams in most of the HCL’s 20 divisions. Some games may need to be played in April but if all 18 games aren’t able to be played it is not the end of the world as league positions will still be decided by points average.”

Research has also shown that 78 per cent of players want fixtures to start by 1pm, allowing earlier finishes while also giving clubs the flexibility to arrange later or earlier start times.

“Players want games to be over by 7pm and this will help achieve that, hopefully preventing clubs going the way of Swan Green and many others,” added Jones.

A third proposed change will see Regional Division Three games reduced from 42 to 35 overs per side - ideal for youngsters making the transition from junior cricket and adults players with social or family commitments -and for all other games to be 40 overs per side.

In the regional divisions a player loans trial is designed to reduce the number of matches conceded across the county, while a final proposal not to re-bowl wides is aimed at speeding up the game.

Since 2016, the HCL has lost 41 teams, more than ten per cent of its membership, but remains the biggest league in the country if not the world with 306 teams due to start the 2018 season in April.

Chairman of the Clubs & Leagues Working Party, Tony Oxley last year attracted national publicity when he suggested that cricket teas be axed to ensure earlier finishes.

He said: “Club proposals on start times, league re-structure, overs, player loans and wides grew out of findings from both the Hampshire Cricket Unleashed events in 2016 and the ‘#MyHantsGameDay’ survey last season.

“The Working Party supports and seeks to build on the league’s own proposals and following the survey results, we’re looking to ensure that those playing the game regularly have the opportunity for their voices to be heard - the Players Meeting and the AGM are the perfect opportunities for this.”

Players and officials attending tomorrow’s meeting will receive two tickets to the Hampshire Cricket/Southern Vipers T20 double-header on August 8.

For more info, contact, visit or follow #HantsGameChanger.