The Dukes North East Premier League are delighted with the response from clubs interested in being part of the Second Division of the League, scheduled to begin in April 2013.
From an original list of 15 expressions of interest, 13 clubs have followed through with a formal application to join the ECB-accredited competition.
The applications will be considered by the League against strict criteria which cover playing strength, junior development and facilities. Successful clubs will be informed before the end of March.
NEPL management are continuing to work with both the Durham and Northumberland Cricket Boards to have the new setup ratified before the 2012 campaign begins this April so all clubs in the region know what is at stake in the current season.
League Chairman Keith Robson said: "We are very pleased with the reaction to our wish to form a Second Division, and the clubs who have come forward share our wish that ambitious, upwardly mobile clubs should have a pathway to reach the top level of recreational cricket.
"As a League we are delighted to have received 13 strong applications, which our committee will now assess against our criteria.
"This is an exciting time for recreational cricket in the region - the North Yorkshire & South Durham League are beginning their first season as an ECB Premier League this April, along with the continued development of the NEPL."
Dukes NEPL Fixtures for the coming 2012 season have been drafted and will be published in the coming week.