Pause button applied to cricket season

It’s uncertain when cricketers will take to the pitch for the 2021-22 season.

The Elders Cup cricket competition will not hit off this weekend, following a meeting between competition organisers from the Gundagai District Cricket Association (GDCA), Tumut District Cricket Association (TDCA) and Cricket NSW on Monday evening. 

The decision not to commence the competition on Saturday was derived on advice from the NSW Government’s Office of Sport, which basically outlined that only double vaccinated adults over the age of 16 would be eligible to play.

GDCA took to Facebook on Monday, highlighting that cricket would not go ahead this weekend, although the social media post stressed that more discussions would need to be had ahead of the season eventually hitting off.

“Tumut and Gundagai Cricket President’s met with Cricket NSW this afternoon to come up with a plan leading into this season,” the Facebook post read.

“Due to today’s (Monday) news and current restrictions, we will be delaying the start of season – so there will be no cricket on this weekend 23/10/21. 

“The delay will be able to give us more time to discuss when we will start and what that will look like – so watch this space. 

“We want to make sure that the game keeps its integrity and players feel included and informed.”

TDCA President, Travis Curnow, who attended Monday’s meeting alongside GDCA president Tim Ryan, further explained why the decision was made.

“The rules were only updated again early this week and the guidelines for playing and training mean everyone involved has to be double vaccinated,” Curnow said. 

“We didn’t think we had enough time to get everything sorted this week, so we wanted to put it out to teams and captains and see what numbers are like before making any hard decisions.”

Curnow stated the competition would eventually commence in some capacity, with certain teams capable of meeting the guidelines.

“100% we will play cricket. I’ve spoken to Trent Charlton, and he said Junee is ready to go, even if that means fielding a team of double vaccinated players,” Curnow said.

“Wyangle were also right to go, and I believe Coolac could have fielded a team this week, but the Gundagai teams were struggling, and Tumut Plains said they couldn’t field a team.

“Lippers’ and Adelong’s positions are still unknown, but we have asked them to let us know where they stand.”

Curnow wanted to keep a potential return to cricket as a week-to-week option, stating that it was his intention to start the competition next weekend, or as soon as possible.

“I’m hopeful we can get started next week, or soon after,” Curnow said.

“The draw is ready, and the competition is no different to what it was last year. We will have QR codes and hand sanitizer; players just need to be double vaccinated.

“The competition will definitely go ahead.”

A meeting between both associations scheduled for next week looks set to determine when the competition will start and what games and training will look like. 

“We will have a meeting early next week so we can get things sorted. We need to give teams some time to get feedback from players, but I’ve spoken to some teams, and they want to start playing and that’s what we will work towards,” Curnow said.

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