Cricketers are set to return to action as the Westmorland League warms up for the new campaign.

The 2021 cricket season is scheduled to start on April 17 and will also be the 128th year of competition.

Clubs in Division One have voted to continue for 2021 the restrictions limiting the number of overs per bowler, and have approved an application from the public school at Sedbergh to make a first appearance in the top division of the WCL.

Carnforth and Westgate, with their deep resources, are likely to be the chief beneficiaries and were destined to lead the procession to the top.

The teams considered to be the biggest threat to them are Sedgwick, Heysham and Burneside.

Many will be interested to see Adam Richardson returning to the captaincy at Arnside and new captain Ste Yates at Shireshead can inspire renewed success in the game.

Bare, Milnthorpe, Silverdale, Trimpell and Warton may all be affected by the bowling restrictions that most of them voted for.

On Thursday, October 7, 1841 Sedbergh School played its first competitive match against Kirkby Lonsdale CC, who they had 'challenged'.

This season, teams from the school will compete in the top two divisions of the WCL. In many ways it is a marriage of convenience, emerging as it has from these unprecedented times.

A team of under-19 students have been admitted into Division One, joining the mixed team of staff and students that has played in the league for two seasons. Past precedent was disregarded to expedite the arrangement.

The WCL has suffered losses of member clubs since the millennium, not least the town club in 2017.

The school has searched for fixtures for its large cricket squad.

Two current Yorkshire players are alumni of the school and, while the school first team plays the cream of the public school fixtures, its second team including age group players from the major counties will take on WCL clubs.

Last year’s Morecambe captain, Graeme Cassidy, will return to Heysham which could make them contenders. Westgate will miss Craig Buchanan’s runs as he has moved to Scotland.

Explosive batsman Graham Dodds is helping with coaching at Carnforth and Brad Hoyle will be trying to tempt him back into whites. He’ll also be hoping that batsman Martin Stretch is available more frequently this season. Warton will be captained by Stuart Mayor and welcome back wicketkeeper and batsman Paul Sayer. Burneside will be hoping to retain the players who joined them from Kendal and Netherfield in 2020, and welcome Oscar Cotton, 17, from the Parkside Road.