FOX Lodge had high hopes for the 2020 North West Championship season.
Dean McCarter and Andrew McGinnis were set for a return to action after a year away and new West Indian professional Darnell McCallum looked like driving a certain promotion push.
Unfortunately for the Ballymagorry based outfit and the rest of the teams in each grade of cricket in Ireland, any aspirations or plans laid out for the new campaign, which was set to start later this month, have been left in tatters following the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“It’s disappointing because a lot of people were looking forward to it and the league had it all well planned out,” said Foxies vice-captain, Jason Milligan.
“Our main target was promotion back to the Premiership. We had a couple of players – McCarter and McGinnis – who didn’t play last year have come back and were raring to go.
“They are really experienced players, brilliant players for us and with our overseas player we felt we had the squad to definitely push for promotion.”
Cricket Ireland have said they will reassess the situation at the end of May in a bid to firm up an actual start date for the 2020 campaign, but even the suggestion of getting underway at the beginning of July seems ambitious at this stage.
However, should that happen, Milligan feels difficult decisions will have to be made first.
“There are rumours floating about, which haven’t been confirmed, about starting on July 1st, wiping out the first half of the fixtures, just playing the second half,” he explained.
“That would leave each team playing each other only once, so there would be a lot of planning for that because how do you decide which team plays at home, who plays away?
“I don’t know if they are going to go ahead with promotion or relegation either because it’s not fair on the clubs in the Championship because if it goes down to one game, because there’s only six teams in our division after the restructure, that would only have left us with five games to decide who goes up, which I don’t think is very fair.”