About the Wiltshire County Cricket League

The Wiltshire County Cricket League is a 45 over Saturday cricket league.

Prior to the formation of the league in the early 1980's, cricket in Wiltshire was played in two separate leagues. The Wessex League included most of the then senior clubs in Wiltshire (Chippenham, Swindon, South Wilts, Trowbridge, Swindon BR, Westinghouse, Devizes, Malmesbury, Box). Meanwhile there was a Wiltshire League which comprised most of the remaining sides, including Purton, Wootton Bassett, Lacock and Savernake Forest.

In the late 70's the Wiltshire Cricket Association (a predecessor to Wiltshire Cricket Limited) were asked to take over the league, and to make it more inclusive. Hence the Wiltshire County Cricket League was formed. Tom Cooper was the league's first chairman, and along with the WCA secretary, Ron Forster, and the league's first secretary, John Gale, the leagues constitution and playing rules were written. Much of this text is still in the constitution and rules today.

Results were submitted via an answerphone, and were then published alongside the league tables in the local newspapers. In the mid 80's, the administration moved from being completely paper based, to using an Atari 520ST-FM, but it was still a long way from the web-based system we now use, which was initially introduced in 2006, but paper confirmations were still required to be sent in by post for several years after that.

During the 1980's, the league grew from 20 teams initially, to around 100. Since then, it's numbers have varied over time, dropping to the low 70's in 2014 and 2015. For many years, the top division in the WCCL has promoted into, and received relegation from the West of England Premier League (WEPL). However, 2016 saw a significant restructure of cricket in the region, so that when a team moved into WEPL, it no longer took its 2nd XI with it. This saw about 20 2nd XIs return from WEPL to the WCCL, taking it's numbers back up to the 90 teams it now contains.

The league currently has 9 divisions of 10 teams, and plays an 18 week season, starting at the beginning of May, and running to the end of August or just into September. Promotion and relegation allows teams to find their level within the league. Teams which are promoted from Division 1 into the West of England Premier League can progress until they are playing the best teams from Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Bristol. Many clubs have multiple teams in the WCCL, with 1st teams from smaller clubs meeting 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams from larger clubs - there is no separate structure for these teams.

The league covers most of Wiltshire and Swindon (except for the Salisbury area, which have their own league or play in the North Hampshire leagues), as well as including clubs which are just over the border into Somerset, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. The catchment area allows most away games to be within 45 minutes travel, although clubs on the edge of the league's catchment area may have a few journeys of a little over an hour.

The league is run by an elected committee, and the league's constitution and playing rules are democratically updated by clubs at the League's AGM each November. New clubs (and new teams from existing clubs) are always welcome to join the league, and the league is always looking for additional people to serve the on the league committee.