By Jackson Russell
IN ANOTHER step closer to normality, Seymour District Cricket Association gets its 2020-21 season underway this weekend, the first taste of community sport for some towns since autumn.
The SDCA has expanded its A Grade competition to eight teams with Alexandra and Pyalong joining Kilmore, Broadford, Tallarook, Seymour, Eastern Hill and Yea.
B Grade will this season feature seven teams while C Grade will be a 10-team competition.
All matches will be one-day matches so any potential confirmed case or outbreak cannot affect the second day of a fixture.
SDCA president Ben Trezise said it was exciting to start the season after a winter of uncertainty.
“A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work, especially through Cricket Victoria and the State Government. We’ve had really good feedback and all the clubs are taking [the guidelines] on board so it’s been wonderful,” he said.
“Alexandra and Pyalong are making the step up this year and we applaud them. It’s awesome to actually have eight teams in A Grade this year.
“It helps this year that they’re all one-dayers, which is something those clubs particularly like. In a perfect world, we’d like to have eight teams in A Grade every year.”
While this season will be entirely one-day matches, they will all be played in white kits with a red ball in a move designed to help cut costs for clubs and prevent potential supply chain issues.
Trezise said the season would ideally include both one-day and two-day matches.
“I’d still love to have two-day and one-day cricket but this year is a different year and we’re working under guidelines from Cricket Victoria and the State Government, so we’re taking that all on board and we’re quite happy to go with the flow,” he said.
In another move to help clubs make it through the pandemic, the SDCA has cut affiliation fees for all its junior and senior teams.
In a regular season, clubs pay the association $160 per senior team and $100 per junior team. This year, fees have been reduced to $100 per senior team and free entry for junior teams.
“It’s something we’ve tried to pass on to help our clubs because they might be struggling with sponsorship or things like that,” Trezise said.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the season. It’ll be good to get out there and enjoy the company of others and a bit of community sport will go a long way to helping people feel a little bit more normal.”