Basingstoke & North Hants will be joining the Southern Electric Premier League next season.

Clubs voted overwhelmingly at this week’s EGM to allow the long-established May’s Bounty Club to switch their two senior sides from the Thames Valley League into the SPL next summer.

Basingstoke’s first and second teams will take up berths in the SPL’s reshaped third and fourth divisions.

The Premier League will operate with four divisions, each of ten teams, in 2013 with the existing Division 3 being split.

It means the numerical strength of the SPL being increased by two to 40 teams – and Basingstoke will take up the two new slots.

Basingstoke’s first team will now take the tenth spot in the new Division 3, with the May’s Bounty second string doing likewise in the newly formed Division 4.

The switch means that, for the first time since structured cricket was introduced into Hampshire recreational cricket in the mid-1970s, Basingstoke will have all five of their sides playing in the county pyramid.

Basingstoke & North Hants captain Dan Coombs was delighted with the news of his club’s election.

“It’s a massive move for the club,” he said.

“Over the past two years or so we’ve slightly gone downhill on our playing side so playing in a new environment and against fresh opposition will be a great challenge for our young squad.”

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