HEREFORDSHIRE County Cricket Club will face some stern challenges ahead if proposed changes to the Minor Counties competition are ratified.

Under a new five-year plan to cover the years 2020-24, there will be some changes to the eligibility criteria for players wishing to play in the three Minor Counties competition - the championship, the one-day knock-out and the T20.

As from 2020, the youngest eight members of a side will have to have an average age of 25 or under.

Teams will also have to include eight players who were born, live or play their cricket within the county.

"We have a relatively small pool of players of the requisite standard available to us from within the county," said chairman of cricket Ian Macklin.

"And only Brockhampton are playing in a league, the Birmingham League, which holds Premier League status.

"Our other leading county clubs will be playing next season, at best, at Worcestershire County League Division Two level, which makes the step up to Minor Counties competition a very big one.

"We are disappointed at the stringency of these new rules.

"When we were elected as a committee, it was with the determination to give more local players the opportunity to play for the county side.

"We have already achieved that with players of the calibre of Ian Bullock, who has been our regular wicket-keeper over the past two seasons, and Barney Morgan, who has shown his talent to such an extent that he has moved on from Burghill & Tillington to play for Kidderminster in the Premier Division of the Birmingham League, as well as others.

"But to be expected to provide eight 'home' players from the season after next will be a very big ask and could seriously jeopardise our ability to field a competitive side."

The club held their annual meeting at the GWRSA club in Hereford at the end of November.

Existing officers Richard Prime (chairman), Tom Bevan (secretary), David Phillips (treasurer) and Ian Macklin (chairman of cricket) are part way through their three-year terms so the only officer to be re-elected was membership secretary David James.

He will be assisted by Ian Milton in a new position as assistant membership secretary.

Milton was also re-elected to the committee alongside Adam Hewlett, Roy Wargen, Jim Sandford and Kim Berry.