SOUTH Wilts will be getting out their cricket pyjama kit on a regular basis next summer as white ball cricket, played in coloured clothing and pads using black sightscreens and with power plays, is set to revolutionise the ECB British Gas Southern Premier Division.

Nine rounds of top-flight 50-over matches, using one white leather ball per innings, will be played at the start and end of the season, as at present, writes Mike Vimpany.

The Southern Premier is believed to be only the second Premier League in the country, behind Yorkshire, to play limited-over cricket using coloured ‘pyjama’ kit and following the A-list cricket regulations.

A host of local sides wear coloured kit for T20 Sunday afternoon cup matches.

Fifty-over games in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 will continue to be played in traditional white clothing, as will the all-day ‘time’ cricket in the Premier Division.

James Hayward, captain of four-time Premier Division champions South Wilts, described the coloured kit switch as “a brilliant move for local recreational cricket”.

“It’s hugely important that as amateur players and leagues we continue to develop and progress with the professional game,” he said. “We have to stay in touch in order to do our part of developing the future stars of tomorrow.

“Playing white ball cricket next year is something that many of us players will find exciting and a new challenge, it will maybe even pull in a few more spectators/players as it certainly comes with a different sort of energy to the traditional red ball game with jam and cream scones at tea!”

Plans to introduce earlier start times across the board in Southern Premier League cricket were rejected by clubs at the league’s annual meeting. The management committee proposed that 50-over matches in all four divisions should start 30 minutes earlier at 12.30pm throughout the summer. But their proposal did not attract a two-thirds majority.

All-day ‘time’ cricket will, though, start at 11am, instead of 11.30am, with lunch at 1.15pm.

But, with effect from next season in Time Pennant cricket, there will be a restriction on bowlers, who will be limited to 18 overs each.