IT is striking to see names of only two teams from mid Cheshire on a list of entries for the Vitality Under 19 Club T20.

However there is also encouragement that both Davenham and Oulton Park benefitted enough from last season’s experience to want another taste.

They have added depth to their squad by accommodating players from neighbours Kingsley, Middlewich and Oakmere.

In most cases those boys have asked if they can temporarily turn out for a nearby club because they want to be out on the square more often with friends.

A late start to the campaign, when exams are all but over, makes it more likely they’ll take that opportunity.

Some clubs are reticent about their players switching sides, and understandably so, but collaborating in this way can also be beneficial in tackling a tribalism that risks becoming self-defeating.

Let’s be frank; there is unlikely to be a time soon when clubs in the town can again all field their own under 19s side like they did in the past.

While that’s regrettable, it’s also an inescapable reality.

For now, blurring the boundaries between rivals is the only way around it for this competition.

More than 30 teams from across Cheshire will take part in the 2019 edition, matching the success of the previous one.

That proves there is an appetite for this format among young cricketers who want an alternative to longer days at the weekend when they play in their club’s senior sides.

There are touches that mimic those seen in the professional game; pink balls, coloured kits, musical accompaniment and a clamour for attention on social media.

Bring on all of it.

As Mark Greaves, a volunteer at Davenham away from his role as a development and coaching officer for the Cheshire Cricket Board, told me during an interview this week – it’s engaging those guys that matters.

That isn’t straightforward, and cricket isn’t immune to challenges faced by almost every team sport when it comes to increasing – or maintaining – participation among youngsters.

The board recognises as much, and this summer will experiment with a new initiative aimed at players signed up for the Vitality Under 19 Club T20.

Marketed as ‘Following On’, it is a two-day training course next month tailored to develop skills that teenagers can put to practical use.

That could be helping to prepare the pitch, taking a coaching qualification or raising awareness of their club on social media.

It is innovative, and original.