Cricket Shepparton confirms new rules, no change to helmet rule

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Getting close: Cricket Shepparton is discussing October 8 as a potential start date to the new season. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

It’s almost that time of year.

Cricket fans rejoice — the summer of cricket in the Goulburn Valley is rapidly approaching — and the 2022-23 Cricket Shepparton season is bound to have a different look this time around.

A and B-grade cricket is set to return to its one and two-day format this year.

The past two seasons have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and featured solely one-day matches.

Rounding out the other changes is an amendment to game start times from 1pm to 12.30pm, while afternoon tea will be supplied again by the home clubs for all matches for the upcoming season.

But the major topic of a Cricket Shepparton executive meeting on July 25 revolved around proposed changes to the mandatory wearing of a helmet whilst batting rule — which is currently in place.

Based on votes received from clubs, nine voted in favour of a change to the current rule, while two clubs voted for no change.

Six clubs failed to reply, which Cricket Shepparton took as an indication that they were happy with the rule in place.

Despite a 9-8 count in favour of a rule change, Cricket Shepparton ultimately decided not to make the switch.

Cricket Shepparton president Brandan Reilly said players’ safety was the deciding factor when it came to overriding the decision.

“The decision seemed straightforward. We have a duty of care to our clubs and our players, supporters, and officials,” Reilly said.

“We would hate to see anyone get hurt at cricket and not only miss time out of the game, but time off work.

“These members are our close friends, and no one wants to see anyone get hurt. As someone who has been struck in the head and suffered from several concussions, I can assure people that it is not something they want to go through.

“Put a helmet on to protect yourself and your future.”

With the helmet rule staying put, Reilly said the league’s full attention now turned towards getting the 2022-23 season under way, with Saturday, October 8 floated as a potential curtain-raiser.

“There’s a potential start date being discussed of October 8,” he said.

“Cricket Shepparton is really keen to get the cricket season under way, we’re keen to get everyone back out on the park.”