Kingaroy and Murgon pad up for Gympie A-grade
CRICKET: The 2017 Gympie A-grade competition is set to expand by two teams.
South Burnett clubs Kingaroy and Murgon will form part of the Gympie Regional Cricket Association, combining with existing clubs Colts, Harlequins, Valleys and Wests to take the league to six sides.
Gympie Regional Cricket Association president Rod Venn said the inclusion of the Burnett clubs was a win-win for all parties concerned.
He said the unprecedented move is a reflection of the positive direction cricket is moving in Gympie.
"When you are talking about the numbers in sport diminishing in town, we are bringing more in.
"It is a real positive and we are very confident that it will happen,” Venn said.
Both Kingaroy and Murgon players would be eligible for Gympie representative selection, with a number of them possible inclusions in the 2017 Gympie Gold XI squad.
Venn thinks the expansion will benefit cricket in the entire Wide Bay.
"Given that they (players) would be eligible for Gympie selection, it gives them more exposure to high level cricket,” Venn said.
"We are confident that they will be very competitive.”
After experiencing some teething problems after an organisational restructure last season, Venn said it was all systems go for 2017.
Also included in the expansion is the proposed permanent introduction of a women's competition.
The GRCA will look to run women's fixtures from October to December.
The regular season starts on September 23.