CRICKET: Clubs reveal NDCA vision

STOCKTON-Raymond Terrace and University have publicly issued their own draft plans on the future structure of Newcastle district cricket.
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Stockton’s proposal is to introduce all 40-over one-day cricket for third and fourth grade, while Uni have proposed a regional premier league that includes clubs from the Central Coast, Maitland and Hunter Valley.

The two clubs join Toronto Workers, which issued an alternative plan to the Newcastle District Cricket Association’s vision for an eight-team premier league last month.

Stockton believe the shorter format of the game appeals more to increasingly time-poor younger cricketers and will slow the exodus of players to City and Suburban cricket.

While Stockton have been supporters of the NDCA’s premier league in first grade, president Ron Hancock said attention first needed to be placed on the lower grades.

‘‘We believe the NDCA should start at the bottom and work upwards, not at the top and work down,’’ Hancock wrote. ‘‘The formation of a premier league will not be successful unless we get our house in order first, and in fact we might improve the existing 12-team structure and there may not be a need for an eight-team format.’’

Uni held a meeting of 30members and have proposed a more radical approach.

The club supports an eight-team premier league, but to maintain the strength of the underpinning first division Uni believe sides from Maitland, the Hunter Valley and Central Coast should be introduced.

Those sides would be eligible for promotion to the premier league.

The NDCA has sought interest from Maitland and Central Coast about joining the competition without success.

‘‘We don’t think the structure proposed by the NDCA is a workable solution, but that doesn’t mean we’re just going to say no to any sort of reform and not be constructive,’’ Uni president Ben Smee said.

‘‘The idea we have circulated is not the club’s formal position. It’s certainly not designed to be a grand solution to all our problems.

‘‘It’s an idea that came from our meeting that is designed to generate some discussion about how to improve cricket in the long term.’’

Meanwhile, a meeting organised by Western Suburbs lower-grader Ross Declerck on Monday night at Cardiff RSL Club was poorly attended.

Eight people from five clubs – Wests, Newcastle City, Waratah-Mayfield, Toronto Workers and Cardiff-Boolaroo – attended the meeting, which focused on keeping predominantly two-day cricket in all grades. Declerck hopes to meet with the NDCA.

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