A DECISION taken this week to share Lancashire’s biggest amateur cricket cup is an abject failure in the fight to develop the game.

On Sunday Ormskirk and Burnley side Lowerhouse saw their Lancashire Knockout final washed out for the second time in successive weekends.

Instead of working out a way to find a winner in the prestigious competition it was agreed they should share it.

There has been a national campaign in the sport in recent times called Get The Game On.

It was launched by the England and Wales Cricket Board and intended to boost local cricket.

This decision to get the game off makes a mockery of it.

All the best teams from every league in Lancashire take part in the Lancs Knockout which has been held every year since 1972.

The final takes place at Old Trafford and it is every amateur cricketer’s dream to get to the final and play at Lancashire’s iconic ground.

It had only every been shared once before, 34 years ago, with the other 44 stagings rightly being played down to a winner.

Of the 10 or so leagues in Lancashire whose clubs have taken part in the competition down the years the Bolton League have a particularly good record.

They have provided 24 finalists and produced 12 winners, the second most on both counts.

Granted it would not have been straightforward to get this year’s final played as Ormskirk are in the National Knockout final in Essex this Sunday which, if it is rained off, will be staged the following Sunday.

However, if it is played this Sunday both sides will be free the following week.

Giving the reasons for sharing the cup the competition’s organisers, the Lancashire Cricket Board, state on its website: “In planning this year’s final, two dates have been set aside, allowing for other competitions to take place, and also considering the necessary resource within the LCB to appropriately stage such a prestigious fixture.”

The first part of that statement deals with the aforementioned National Knockout participation of Ormskirk.

The second part informs that one consideration in not making any further attempt to play the final is that the organisers feel they may not be able to put on a good enough show.

That should not be a consideration.

Local cricket is not about pomp and ceremony but about playing games, and all those involved in this decision to call the whole thing off have abjectly failed in that basic requirement.

It is not difficult to organise a game of cricket. You need a ground, two teams and two umpires, which would all be available if Ormskirk’s game this weekend is completed.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be the will to get the game on.