The loss of a club and two-day cricket are the major changes made to the format of the upcoming Benalla District Cricket Assoiation season.By Damen Francis
Two major changes await Benalla District Cricket Association’s Cleary Shield combatants this season.
The loss of powerhouse club Euroa to Cricket Shepparton cuts the number of participating clubs to five and there will be no two-day cricket.
Association president Trevor Saker said the move was designed to attract more players in what he admitted were troubling times for the association.
‘‘It’s a bit contentious, but we voted on it at our annual general meeting,’’ Saker said.
‘‘We’re hoping it will get more people playing, particularly football types that can’t commit to two days.
‘‘It’s 40 overs in the field, not 80, so that might help blokes get involved.
‘‘I love two-day cricket, with red balls and white clothes, but in reality we’ll just have to see how this season goes and look at it then.’’
Saker cited an association in NSW that had achieved a participation increase when it cut two-day cricket, followed by a decrease when it was reinstated for a later season.
A review into the future of Cricket Victoria’s North East Region is underway.
On-field there have been some significant personnel changes.
Reigning premier Violet Town in particular has suffered key losses.
Saker himself has crossed to Friendlies Society Reserve to lead a young St Joseph’s team, while his sons James and Tom will also play elsewhere.
James coached Lavington Football Club last season and has signed with Cricket Albury-Wodonga club Wodonga, while Tom and Nick Abley will play with Victorian Turf Cricket Association club Airport West St Christopher’s.
However, their brother Rob remains as skipper and, with star batsman Simon Holmes also re-committed, the Towners should still be competitive.
They travel to Benalla Gardens Oval in round one take on Benalla in a Twenty20 match.
Saker said he understood Benalla was trying to lure Benalla Football Club coach Luke Morgan to join Saints teammates Brett Pollard and James Dalton at the cricket club.
Morgan is a wicketkeeper batsman and would help make up for the loss of last season’s skipper Leigh Pollard.
Delatite may have lost Victorian under-19 representative Joe Cousins to Victorian Premier Cricket club Richmond, but it has regained Matt Stevenson in a move Saker believes propels them to flag favouritism.
Stevenson spent six seasons at North Melbourne and will bolster Delatite’s fast bowling stocks, while the arrival of former Violet Town and Merton player Chris Anderson further increases the club’s depth.
Last season’s beaten finalist Warrenbayne will host Delatite at Racecourse Reserve on Saturday, and could be shorn of star all-rounder Damian O’Brien.
The season opens with three rounds of Twenty20 cricket, before one-day matches begin in round four.
An armed bandit robbed a fast-food restaurant at knife-point yesterday morning.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Alistair Davey will return to his roots to teach Cobram Primary children the joy of music.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
Benalla Racing Club is hosting a Kids’ Race Day for Down Syndrome Victoria after general manager Bradley Thomas and his wife Brie’s son Lewis was diagnosed with Down syndrome this year.
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