CLIFTON Cricket Club have moved swiftly to put an alternative in place following the demise of their Derbyshire County League third team.
The club withdrew their thirds from Division 10 South a fortnight ago with the young team bottom of the division – and therefore bottom of the league's whole pyramid – and battling to avoid defeat each week.
Their firsts play in Division One and their seconds in Division Six South.
Now Clifton have decided the answer for the immediate future at least is a development team.
This will play matches on Sundays over 35 overs per side and the team will consist of a mix of senior and junior players.
In a statement, the club said: "The emphasis is to carry on the Clifton tradition of successfully developing young players into quality cricketers capable of excelling at the highest level.
"The club believe the new format will provide the correct platform to develop youngsters.
"A shortened game will be more enticing than the 92 overs played in league games and fixtures will be arranged against like-minded teams.
"Most league fixtures were literally men against boys, a daunting task week in, week out for the Clifton boys."
Club chairman Roger Jones has championed the idea of a shorter version of the game being played in the lower leagues for several years.
"I believe this is a positive step by the club to raise even further the participation levels of young cricketers at Clifton," said Jones.
"Playing a game of 35 overs will provide a perfect platform for transition from the junior format of 20 overs to senior cricket of 46 overs.
"During conversations with many parents about this change of direction, they agree that the format is better. Young cricketers can only take continual beatings for so long in the longer format."