Cricket stumps are broken during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket Round 17 clash between GDSC Easts and Westlawn at McKittrick Park. cricket stumps generic
Cricket stumps are broken during the Cleavers Mechanical Night Cricket Round 17 clash between GDSC Easts and Westlawn at McKittrick Park. cricket stumps generic Matthew Elkerton

MOOSE'S SPRAY: Can we stop cricket getting out?

CRICKET: Westlawn has become the latest casualty of the declining player availability, with the club forced to forfeit in third grade this weekend.

But they are far from alone in that realm, already this season GDSC Easts have been forced to pull the pin on third grade action twice and South Services were also at the same issue when they turned up to a game with five players.

Coutts Crossing has also felt the pinch of declining numbers in the region with the club's selectors, including myself, facing plenty of sleepless Thursdays as they scrounge around all contacts in the region.

It is also an issue felt down river with several forfeits across the Lower Clarence Cricket Association ranks already this season.

It is a worrying trend for the local cricket governing bodies and one that doesn't seem to have a simple answer.

We live in a time when the regular 9-5 working week no longer exists. People are working longer hours during the weeks or picking up extra shifts on the weekends. No longer do they have a spare six hours on a Saturday afternoon.

It is one reason why the CRCA altered the third grade competition this season to a shorter 30-over format and allowed all clubs a bye round every four weeks.

But those changes have not worked entirely.

We need a fix and we need it fast if our sport is to survive.

EDIT: Since this editorial went to publish South Services have also forfeited this weekend's third grade competition due to low player numbers.



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premium_icon Residents flock to watch wild waves

The BoM have issued a warning for large seas and high winds

BIG SURF: Take a look at our waves from Cyclone Oma

premium_icon BIG SURF: Take a look at our waves from Cyclone Oma

Waves batter the Yamba coastline in these photos