DRAKES Huddersfield League cricket clubs face a series of ground inspections this summer, aimed at maintaining and improving standards within the League.

Six years ago a 10-point plan entitled ‘Premiership Cricket – Premier Conditions’ was published by the League which outlined minimum requirements which were felt necessary for Drakes Premiership clubs to adhere to.

But more recently some of the criteria have been allowed to remain unchecked and the Drakes Executive are concerned that in some cases standards are falling.

Primarily the plan mainly affected Premiership clubs.

However, League chairman Roger France last night told council members that he was keen to see ALL clubs in the League catch up with the standards required in today’s game.

With that in mind, umpires secretary Ron Tindall will be responsible for promoting and overseeing the inspection of clubs, with umpires and members of the Executive reporting back to him, in order to compile a dossier on each ground.

“Most clubs in the Premiership now have some form of covers, and for those that haven’t they must endeavour to provide some,” Tindall told the League representatives.

“We are in the business of playing cricket, and for that reason, it is time that every club, including those in the Conferences, should consider providing covers which can be quickly pulled on over the wicket and those adjoining it on either side, in the event of say lunchtime rain on the day of a game.”

Mr France added: “Premiership clubs will have to conform to the Premier Conditions plan as designated back in 2002.”

With just two weeks to the start of the 2008 season, the chairman was also keen to remind clubs of the rule changes passed at the annual meeting which include the extension of the tea interval from 20 to 30 minutes, the increase in umpires fees to £29 each, or £36.50 for standing at both ends, plus £13 in the case of no play.

The other major alteration affects Second Elevens, with all matches now reverting to 50 overs a side.

Administration secretary Judith France reminded clubs that she requires a cover note for public liability insurance (up to the amount of £3m) and this must be submitted to her no later than April 12.

India were scuttled for 76 on the first day of the second Test in Ahmedabad, with Dale Steyn taking 5-23 and Makhaya Ntini also taking 3-18 to put South Africa in initial command.