TAUNTON St Andrews Cricket Club kicks off the 2021 season with a brand new initiative - the Saints Super League (SSL) - which is the club’s tongue-in-cheek take on global franchise leagues, writes Richard Walsh.

The 10-over tournament will involve all Saints players, who have been divided into four franchise teams, chosen in a mock auction:

The TaunTEN TiTENS - Charlie Williams (captain), Louis Kraucamp, Theo Draper, Robbie Contreras, Luke Poole, Nigel Contreras, Mark Couch, Josh Couch, Morgan Couch, Freddie Wolfenden.

TSA Hockey’s Hard Hitters - Stuart Hockey (captain), Toby Williams Thomas, Jacob Hockey, Ashton Norie, Josh Clatworthy, Toby Warner, Rhys Hockey, Jago Barclay, Ryan Cleverly, Tom Bowan.

TSA Clappy Crusaders - Jordon Clapp (captain), Steven Tinnion, Steven Jenkins, Ben Pitkin, Harry Collins, Henry Graydon, James Hayman, Ben Walford, Matthew Pringle, Rory Cooper Smith.

The Alley All Stars - Lloyd Alley (captain), James Regan, Jordan Lee, Martin Jenkins, Justin Burke, Jay Terry, Thomas Rew, Callum Griffiths, Jamie Woodland, C J McKenna.

Matt Durbin came up with the idea initially, and then worked in conjunction with 1st XI captain Lloyd Alley to get it off the ground.

Alley said: “We were looking for a novel way to get as many players involved in pre-season cricket, and Matt came up with this idea.

“He has done a great job in getting it all together, so all we need now is some good weather so that everyone can get in a good workout and enjoy themselves.”

The tournament gets underway at 10.45am tomorrow (Saturday) and will be played within strict Covid-19 guidelines, with social distancing rules applying.

There will be no changing facilities, players must bring their own food, and hand sanitiser will be available.