A new Saturday-night T20 competition is giving a group of players the chance to scratch their cricket itch in a social environment. The Cricket North West Men’s Division 3 competition launched on January 12, with five of the six CNW clubs participating.
The purpose of the roster is to provide an alternative cricket experience for those who may not be able to commit to a full season. This includes players with work or family commitments, those heavily involved in other sports, newcomers wanting to play formal cricket for the first time, or past players whose bodies won’t allow them to play too many games per year.
“Cricket North West understands that a full season, or even a full day’s cricket does not appeal to everyone these days, with plenty of conflicting events and opportunities available in the summer months. The Saturday night timeslot and the T20 format offered the chance to test an alternative model”, commented Cricket Tasmania Community Competitions Officer Nathan Dennis.
“Our clubs got behind the concept, targeting former players and those in local sporting clubs to fill out their teams. The result was the Burnie Hurricanes, Devonport, Sheffield, Ulverstone and Wynyard entering in the roster”, added Dennis.
The competition features three rounds of roster matches, with the top four teams to play an additional match on Saturday February 9. The first and second-placed teams will play off in the competition Grand Final, with the third and fourth-placed teams to meet in a play-off for third place. All matches will be played on turf pitches.
Last Saturday’s Round 1 games saw Wynyard defeat the Burnie Hurricanes by 16 runs at Wynyard Showgrounds, while Sheffield recorded a five-wicket win over Devonport at Sheffield Recreation Ground. Ulverstone had the bye.
The Round 1 teams featured some notable selections. Devonport formed a partnership with the Wright’s Island Flatheads Masters Sports Club to field their team, which included NWFL Hall of Famer Andrew Bucchorn, and other local sporting legends Paul Briant (Touch Football) and Shannon Wainwright (Hockey). Husband and wife duo Mark and Martina Steven also represented the Orions.
It was a real family affair in the Sheffield line-up, with father and son duo Darren and Colby Hyland taking to the field. They were joined by brothers Liam and Zane Davies, and Corey and Brandon Foley. Thirteen-year old Brandon top-scored for the Mountaineers with 37 not out.
Wynyard’s line-up featured former CNW 1st Grade Batting Award winner Gregg Sharman, NWFL Hall of Famer Matthew Smith, father and daughter duo Clayton and Abbey Hawkins and past Club Coach Jimmy Martin. Former Collingwood AFL rookie and North West Thunder player Ben Richmond also suited up for the Blues, taking a wicket in his first game of formal cricket.
The Burnie Hurricanes team included former CNW 2nd Grade Player of the Year Dylan Costelloe and ex-Wynyard all-rounder Matthew Kinch. Some former BCL players also took up the opportunity to play turf cricket, with Riana’s Steven and David King, Natone’s Kaden Bracken and Ridgley’s Kai Schumann all donning the purple.
“It was fantastic to see some new and familiar faces take to the field in Round 1. Our clubs were buzzing, and the competition provides a real focal point for everyone to get together on a Saturday night”, commented Dennis.
Devonport and Ulverstone will be playing a stand-alone Men’s Division 3 competition match at Devonport Oval this Friday afternoon from 4.45 pm, as a curtain raiser to the Sportspower Burnie 1st Grade T20 match between the same two clubs starting at 7.30 pm.
“Rumours abound that the Division 3 match will feature several legends of coastal cricket taking to the field for both teams. If this is the case, then there will be plenty of banter and stories re-told in the clubrooms during the 1st Grade game! We are delighted that the Men’s Division 3 roster provides a platform for these great players to re-engage with their clubs”, concluded Dennis.
It is not too late for any prospective players to join their local club for a game. Contact and registration information is available on the Cricket North West website (www.cricketnorthwest.com.au) or via http://playcricket.com.au.