On target: Mannum’s Blake Tabe keeps his eye on the ball in his A grade cricket match against Monarto under the new structure.
The Murray Towns Cricket Association has been selected to lead the way in an Australia wide cricket restructure.
Just one of 18 associations across the country and the only South Australian association to take part in the pilot which is the beginning of the alignment of all cricket associations in the country.
Murray Towns Cricket Association (MTCA) president Lee Spurling said they are working with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) in conjunction with Cricket Australia to ensure the transition is smooth.
“This is the biggest change to junior cricket in our association in about 30 years,” he said.
Main changes have occurred in the junior competition.
A MILO In2Cricket program will run for 5-7-year-olds, introducing basic cricket skills, preparing children for competition.
For the first time, a MILO T20 Blast competition will run for children under 10 years.
This competition has been designed to suit the needs of children by modifying the game, pitch size and game time will be reduced as well as players per side and equipment will be modified so children can improve their techniques.
Under 13 cricket will now be played on Friday nights and Under 15 cricket will remain on Saturdays, however both grades will incorporate school and club teams, making it easier for juniors to familiarisethemselves with clubs and feel more at ease to transition to senior cricket.
“We are encouraging clubs toenterteams in the T20 Blast to help with retention rates of participants,” Mr Spurling said.
“The new T20 Blast competition has had great interest so far with a possibility of as many as 12 teams entering from clubs and schools.”
At a senior level, this year has seen the return of the C grade competition, which has allowed five new sides to enter the competition.
Mr Spurling said the season has started really well and is positive the whole season will go smoothly.
The Rural City Of Murray Bridge Council has also played a role in ensuring the restructure can go ahead, committing to funding support of $6100 over three years.
This funding is to subsidise junior participation in the MILO T20 Blast competition.
Mr Spurling said it was great to have the council on board.
For cricket umpires in the association, this year they will be affiliated with SACA which will bring additional resources, training,and provide pathways to umpires aspiring to higher levels.
“The MTCA is continually looking at ways to improve and this extends to umpiring,” Mr Spurling said.
“We envisage a partnership with the SACA will increase the number of people in the district who choose to give cricket umpiring a go.”
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