A CLOUD of uncertainty hangs over Netherfield Cricket Club amid fears that league officials have 'lost control' of proposed structural changes.
The Lancashire Cricket Board have been in talks with representatives from the Northern Premier League as they push to merge some teams into a newly-formed division, but Netherfield might miss-out.
A statement from the Lancashire Cricket Board says the proposal is for 24 teams to play in one division in 2017, before two leagues, containing 12 teams each, compete in two divisions in 2018.
This can only be achieved if the Northern Premier League merges with the Lancashire League, but Netherfield worry that they will not be one of the Northern League teams included in the merger and could suffer as a result.
It appears the Lancashire Cricket Board are happy to take teams like Lancaster, Morecambe and Fleetwood from the Northern Premier, but not the Cumbrian sides.
According to club secretary Ian Heath, he has it on good authority that Netherfield are 'probably not going to be included', meaning they face travelling greater distances to play against lesser opponents in the North Lancashire and Cumbria Cricket League - a devastating blow for one of the North West's most successful teams.
Parkside Road stalwart Scott Clement said: "I think Netherfield would be one of the top four or five teams in the new league, without a doubt. If you look at the facilities, wicket, changing area and financial backing, we're a match for most clubs.
"The Lancs Board are pushing for change but they don't want to travel, even though it'd take most teams longer to get to Fleetwood than it would to come to Netherfield.
"Teams only have to come here once a season and we're willing to travel every other week.
"They say they want to play the best cricket but they clearly don't want to play the best teams."
The Lancashire Cricket Board declined to comment on when a decision would be made.