Murray Valley Cricket Association is committed to holding some form of season despite tighter COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
A meeting was held last Wednesday night between the Deniliquin Rhinos, Finley, Tocumwal, Cobram-Yarroweyah United, Barooga and Katunga to discuss the possibility of a season.
With the Victorian-NSW border closed and Victoria having strict COVID-19 restrictions, the association is concerned it may not be able to hold a normal season, with teams spread across both states.
The board has discussed its options, with a NSW-only competition looking the most likely choice.
President Anthony Holmes said while nothing could be confirmed, it was likely the season would have a delayed start.
‘‘I can’t see us starting in early October,’’ Holmes said.
‘‘We got the clubs’ thoughts at Wednesday’s Zoom meeting and the Victorian clubs indicated they won’t even be able to start training until late September at the earliest.
‘‘The suggestion of a NSW-only comp was thrown out there, but it’s only a suggestion for now. We need to see where the Victorian clubs stand with this idea.
‘‘All I can say is there is no doubt we want to get some form of a season going, but that will depend on protocols set by federal, state and local governments.’’
The association will hold its annual general meeting on Wednesday, August 12, with the season start set to be the dominating topic.
Deniliquin Rhinos Cricket Club is desperate to play this season, as it looks to defend its maiden premiership win.
Rhinos secretary and treasurer Brad Todd said it was too early to tell if a season would go ahead.
‘‘The situation is always changing, so until we get closer to a start date and get the MVCA AGM over with and see what the go is, we will be guessing what the set-up of the competition will be like,” he said.
‘‘We are supportive of a NSW-only comp and are happy with whatever decision is made to get people playing cricket.
‘‘We want to start as close to the normal start date as possible. If NSW keeps doing the right thing, hopefully we won’t see the restrictions of Victoria and can get a competition in.
‘‘Yes, there are concerns we won’t be able to play, but cricket is a bit different to football-netball clubs as we don’t need gate takings to make the club work.
‘‘From what I read this was a sticking point at the start for those clubs, as this is a major revenue stream for them and clubs would have lost money without spectators paying at the gate due to the costs incurred in running a football-netball club.
‘‘We have held discussions as a club about a few different ideas, depending on what restrictions are in place, so everything is on the table at the moment.
‘‘Until we see restrictions lifted in Victoria and an improvement in their COVID cases I can’t see it being a joint competition.’’
Also discussed at the meeting was the possibility of Goulburn Murray Cricket team Moama joining the competition this year.
‘‘This is an interesting one as they are the only NSW side in the Goulburn Murray, so they are in a tough spot,’’ Todd said.
‘‘I am sure the MVCA could accommodate them into a NSW-based comp if that’s the way we have to go.’’