Pulborough forced to withdraw first XI from Invitation League

Pulborough first XI playing at the Recreation Ground in Division 1 of the West Sussex Invitation League last season
Pulborough first XI playing at the Recreation Ground in Division 1 of the West Sussex Invitation League last season

Pulborough Cricket Club have been forced to withdraw their first XI side from the West Sussex Invitation League.

A shortage of players has led to the once Sussex League Premier Division outfit folding their Division 1 team, according to a league statement.

The first XI had been forced to scrap their opening two fixture of the season against Eastergate and Littlehampton, having not been able to raise a side.

They will now continue with just one side, playing in Division 6 of the Invitation League, where their second XI were playing.

League chairman Gary Stanley said: “Pulborough CC have been forced to withdraw their first XI from Division 1 of the WSICL, due to an exodus of mainly first XI players since last season.

“They will remain in Division 6 (where their second began the season) as a one XI club. Pulborough believe that their remaining members are better suited to that standard than Division 1.

“Division 1 will continue with eight teams, with only one being relegated rather than two, in order to correct the imbalance created by Pulborough’s exit.”

The club opted to return to the West Sussex Invitation League for the start of the 2015 season after finishing second-from-bottom in Division 3 of the Sussex League in 2014.

That was their third relegation in the past four years since playing at the top level in the whole of the county in 2011.

Stanley added: “We granted Pulborough dispensation to play a second XI fixture last Saturday, after consultation with their scheduled opponents, to give them time to come to a decision about their immediate future, which they obviously have now done.

“The WSICL will support Pulborough however we can as they try to rebuild, with the overall integrity of the league in mind.”

Pulborough chairman Frank Galloway confirmed their exit from the division and the County Times has approached the club for further comment.

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