From 2023 there will be a new cricket league in Lancashire - The North West Cricket League, writes Ray Taylor.

The 13 Ribblesdale League clubs; Barnoldswick, Baxenden, Brinscall, Cherry Tree, Earby, Feniscowles, Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, Padiham, Read, Ribblesdale Wanderers, Salesbury, Settle and Whalley will join Astley Bridge, Atherton, Blackrod, Eagley, Farnworth, Farnworth Social, Kearsley, Little Lever, Lostock, Tonge and Walkden from the Bolton League

The 24 clubs will play each other once in 2023 to form two divisions of 12 in 2024.

The divisions in the first team from 2024 will be the Premier and Championship, with clubs’ second teams playing in a new Conference Divisions.

These clubs’ second teams will be joined by teams from Stacksteads, Chatburn and Burnley Belvedere plus teams from two new clubs, Barrowford and Foulridge.

In the first season the new Conference Division will be split North and South.

Ribblesdale third teams will play in the Development League, with Bolton teams continuing to play in the West Lancs League or Greater Manchester League, with the intention of a T20 tournament involving the NWCL clubs together.

Youth cricket will be mainly regionalised with the possibility of a small number of former Ribblesdale teams joining the clubs from Bolton.

The main sponsor for the North West Cricket League will be Anthony Axford Ltd, who have a long time association with the Bolton League. JD Consultancy will continue to sponsor the Hamer Cup and there will be additional sponsorship from Reader Cricket Balls.

Bill Slinger will be the League Chair, Ray Taylor Secretary, Mike Bridges Treasurer. Former Bolton League Chair John Hutchinson is the Safeguarding Officer and Frank Hinks the President.

Officials from the NWLC would like to thank the England Cricket Board and the Lancashire Cricket Board for their support, particularly John Murphy, and would also with to thank the GMCL for their co-operation.

“This is a great opportunity for all the clubs and teams involved, and hopefully we can continue to build on what has already been achieved in a short space of time,” said secretary Ray Taylor.

The league also has a new website ( while it is also available on various social media platforms.

“The new website is the culmination of some fantastic behind the scenes work by members of the new executive of the NWCL,” said vice chairman Phil Andrews.

“The speed at which both the website and the merger of the two leagues has occurred is testimony to a lot of hard work done by all involved.”