Dorset is to hold the country’s 32nd ECB Premier League – after years of meticulous planning and consultations with the ECB. The initiative aims to elevate standards in the Wessex Iontenret Dorset Cricket league both on the pitch and off it.
To qualify for top division play, clubs must meet specific criteria focused on ground facilities and long-term sustainability. The league retains an ‘all-through’ structure, meaning teams gain promotion based on performance.
The shift acknowledges a longstanding trend: ambitious young talents within the county have often sought opportunities in clubs from other leagues. Many local clubs have also opted to compete ‘out of county,’ notably in the Hampshire and Southern Leagues—the latter already enjoying ECB Premier League status. The ultimate aim is to foster a Dorset League robust enough to keep the majority of the county team’s players playing locally.
Ben Skipworth, Cricket Dorset Ltd managing director, said ‘This is a massively exciting development in the grassroots game and should provide a highly competitive environment for our best club players to thrive. It is a testament to the efforts of the committee, especially Alan Graham, to finally realise this level of league being in place in the county.’
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