New colours, new turf, new game: Gympie cricket back today
CRICKET: Rain may have put a dampener on the juniors' opening matches last weekend, but the skies have cleared just in time for the Gympie Regional Cricket Association's new and improved senior competition this afternoon.
All six clubs in the competition, including returning sides from Kingaroy and Murgon, will trade in the traditional two-day format for coloured shirts and a white ball as the association introduces a one-day competition for the new 2018-19 season.
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Association treasurer and Western Gympie player Brad Morgan spent hours on the roller to prepare the One Mile sporting complex wicket for his team's clash against the Harlequins after the Albert Park deck was ruled out due to lingering effects of the inclement weather. Morgan said he and his fellow players were excited for the new format - and the impromptu venue.
"We've played out here a lot in the past, and when we knew we wouldn't be playing at Albert Park we thought we'd give this wicket a go, and it looks great for a day's play,” Morgan said.
"There'll be action right from the first ball, so it will be exciting to see what happens.
"People have talked about what the differences might be with the shorter format, but I think it will be a great thing for the league.
"You have to be a little bit more aggressive and look for runs, but you still have to try and bat your overs. It's a really interesting format.”
Gympie Regional Cricket Association Round 1 - Saturday October 20, 2018
Western Gympie v Harlequins - One Mile Ovals @ 12:30pm
Kingaroy and District v Gympie Colts - Kingaroy Cricket and Sports Club @ 12:30pm
Murgon District v Gympie Valleys - Murgon Sports Ground @ 12:30pm
Harlequins v Western Gympie - Keith Manthey Oval @ 12:30pm
Gympie Valleys v Rainbow Beach CC - James Kidd Oval @ 12:30pm
Gympie Colts (bye)
Morgan said the newly introduced game style had sparked fresh interest in the game on a local level.
Association president Rod Venn said the competition looked "relatively even” ahead of the opening round, but the first few results would separate the contenders from the rest.
"It's a little bit hard to say at the moment, but after three or four games we should see who's looking strong,” Venn said.
"All sides have prepared well and are looking quite good, so we'll see how it goes.
"There are some rep sides playing at the moment so Gympie Gold have had to take some extras for the Sunshine Coast competition, but we should see some consistent and strong numbers as the season goes on.”