Cycling stops play as cricketers up stumps for Tour de France

The Tour de France will stop play in the region's cricket leagues
The Tour de France will stop play in the region's cricket leagues
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Rain and bad light are common causes of play being stopped in cricket but on the first Saturday in July, cycling is the reason for the stumps to be kept in the pavilion.

A number of senior local leagues are rearranging a whole day of fixtures because the Tour de France weaves through their heartland on July 5.

The Aire-Wharfe League cris-crosses the A65, which makes up a portion of this year’s race, prompting officials to create an extra day of fixtures on Bank Holiday Monday, May 26.

“It was something that was voted for unanimously by our members and is a common-sense decision,” said David Alred, secretary of the Aire-Wharfe League.

“Because the A65 will be closed that day, a lot of our players wouldn’t be able to get to their grounds. Plus, some of our clubs, like Ilkley and Ben Rhydding, are being used as camp sites for the Tour.

“This is the first time we have had to move an entire day of fixtures.

“The only time anything came close was when Roundhay Park Cricket Club had to change the date of a game because the Rolling Stones were playing in the park that day.”

The Nidderdale, Wetherby and Craven leagues have lengthened their season by a week to make room for the Tour’s visit, while numerous clubs in the Drakes Huddersfield League asked for that Saturday to be free so they could hold events to coincide with the Tour’s visit, even though the race does not go through their area until the Sunday.