North West Cricket League officials have again agreed to delay the start of the new campaign at a meeting on Tuesday night.

Clubs unanimously agreed to play the matches scheduled for April 27 on September 21, the decision based on the current situation and future weather forecasts.

League secretary, Ray Taylor, said: “It was felt that even if the weather were to improve, a substantial amount of damage could be done to the pitches, to the detriment of the standard of cricket later in the season.”

The Ramsbottom Cup matches set for April 28 will now be played on Sunday, May 5.

At the same meeting, clubs voted to join a national scheme to improve playing surfaces, with support from the Lancashire Cricket Foundation and the UK’s Ground Management Association.

Each club will be visited during the 2024 season with the GMA carrying soil and ground appraisals. The reports from these will allow clubs to prioritise future work and expenditure.

The GMA and England Cricket Board are working on the development of a software app called ‘Pitch Power’, which will allow clubs in the future to conduct their own inspections of their pitches, monitor improvements and plan further action.