SHELLEY, who were the last-ever winners of the Examiner Eights Trophy, have a home tie as they begin their bid to become the first side to get their hands on the new Examiner Twenty/20 Trophy, launched next month.
Simon Peacock's side entertain close Premier rivals Skelmanthorpe, which will again pit Graeme Hurlbatt against his former teammates from the Lidgett Lane club.
The Drakes League elected to change from the old Examiner Eights competition, which had run for 33 years, and voted in favour of the Twenty/20 tournament.
The competition will incorporate the same rules as apply on the county circuit, with a full 11-men-a-side game of 20 overs and including fielding and bowling restrictions.
Two of the other top ties, produced when the draw was made at last night's League council meeting, feature the all-Colne Valley Premier clash between Golcar and Slaithwaite and the visit of Delph & Dobcross to Scholes.
The first round is due to be played on Tuesday, June 5 (6.30) and, for the first time in the League's history, the tournament has been drawn through to the final, on Sunday, July 29. All 30 teams have been allocated in four groups (named after four of the town's leading England international cricketers) and will play down to a winner in each group who then go forward to the semi-finals on Friday, July 20.
The results and revised draw for the next round will be published after each set of fixtures.
Meanwhile, Council members were warned the English Cricket Board's directive regarding the restriction on junior fast bowlers must now be adhered to. League chairman Roger France told members that in recent years, the League had tended to 'circumnavigate' the directive, which restricts junior fast bowlers up to 13 years old to four overs in a spell (8 overs a day), Under 14 and 15s to five overs in a spell (10 per day), Under 16 and 17s, six overs a spell (18 per day) and Under 19s to seven overs (21 per day).
Executive secretary Paul Whiteley added: "A young fast bowler can now bowl only what the directive says, there is now no question of getting written consent from parents to waive it."
Umpires secretary Ron Tindall explained that his officials will simply not allow a match to continue should any junior be asked to bowl more than his allowed allocation.
Tindall also reminded clubs of the impending staffing difficulties for this forthcoming double-header weekend, when Sunday features the first round of the Romida Sykes Cup and Spectrum Interiors Paddock Shield.
"A couple of second eleven matches will need the away team umpire on Saturday (Elland v Honley and Shelley v Meltham), but the problem is far worse on Sunday, when several of the listed officials do not want to stand.
"The games affected in Sunday's Paddock Shield which require away umpires are: Marsden v Shelley, Armitager Bridge v Elland, Slaithwaite v Rastrick, Linthwaite v Skelmanthorpe, Primrose Hill v Kexborough, Kirkburton v Emley Clarence and Barkisland v Hall Bower."
The draw for the Twenty/20 first round (June 5) is:
Haigh Group: (A) Hall Bower v Lascelles Hall, (B) Primrose Hill v Almondbury, (C) Kirkburton v Honley, (D) Kirkheaton bye.
Hirst Group: (E) Elland v Broad Oak, (F) Paddock v Rastrick, (G) Golcar v Slaithwaite, (H) Barkisland bye.
Holmes Group: (I) Lepton High v Clayton West, (J) Shepley v Kexborough, (K) Shelley v Skelmanthorpe, (L) Emley Clarence v Armitage Bridge.
Rhodes Group: (M) Meltham v Holmfirth, (N) Thongsbridge v Micklehurst, (O) Scholes v Delph & Dobcross, (P) Linthwaite v Marsden.
Second round: (June 19): A v B; D v C; G v F; H v E; I v L; J v K; O v N; P v M.