NEWLY promoted Andover will be wearing their 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 in coloured gear at the start and end of the season, as at present, writes Mike Vimpany.

All-day ‘time’ matches, starting at the earlier time of 11 o’clock (instead of 11.30), will continue to be played in traditional white kit with the games set down for mid-season in June and July.

Bowlers will be limited to 18 overs each in Time pennant games.

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.

Andover skipper Matt Hooper thinks : “It will be great for league cricket in Hampshire and I am pleased the Premier League are doing what they can to be aligned as much as possible with the professional game.

“I also think it is something a bit different for the players which is always good.

“It is good to know we play in a league that is forward thinking in keeping cricket relevant and this is one step to doing that.

“Andover are excited to have been promoted to the Premier Division anyway, but I think this adds another positive dimension to it.”

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.

A proposal to allow the six Premier Division club second teams an overseas player, under 23 years of age, was again rejected at the annual general meeting.