There are concerns about the future of some Grampians Cricket Association clubs following the association’s delegates meeting on Monday night. Clubs entered their teams for the upcoming 2018-19 season, with many changes to be expected from last season.
The A Grade competition will be reduced to seven teams, with the potential to be cut even smaller.
Navarre has confirmed it will drop out of the A Grade competition and may also struggle to field a team in the B Grade league.
“Our numbers are a bit low at the moment since we have lost a few players from last year,” Navarre Cricket Club president Gary Hannett said.
“We will aim at getting a B Grade side up and running but there are no certainties. We are open to anyone who wants a game.”
In another big revelation from the meeting, it appears 2017-18 runners up Buangor will combine with Tatyoon for the upcoming season across both A and B Grade competitions, with player numbers once again the key issue.
The clubs are set to field separate junior teams.
“It is just a numbers issue with a lot of clubs at the moment,” GCA president David Turner said.
“We are still going through the technicalities of Tatyoon and Buangor’s senior sides combining but once it gets that all ticked off it will go through.”
Turner said the B Grade competition is likely to have 10 teams, with the season to run similarly to 2017-18 as a one-day competition. The association also confirmed a cap on overs for A Grade, with no more than 80 overs to be played in one day of play.
In a positive for the association, it has filled all committee positions with one of its biggest committees in recent years.
“It is great to have so many people on board to help out at an executive level,” Turner said.
Season dates are yet to be confirmed, but the first round of A and B Grade competition has tentatively been set for October 13.
The Twenty20 competition is also scheduled for the first weekend of December.
The GCA junior delegates meeting will be held on September 11, with junior team nominations to be finalised then as well as sweeping changes to the under-13 competition.
“I would urge anyone involved in under-13 competition to attend to keep up to date with all the changes,” Turner said.
With the season fast approaching, Turner said one of the most pressing issues the association is facing, among many, is the lack of umpires. “We are on the hunt for people who want to get involved with umpiring,” he said. “There is plenty of support from the association for people who want to try it.”