No Twenty20 vision in Clarence Valley
IT'S become the cricket of choice in Australian households.
Yet twenty20 continues to be a hard sell in the Clarence Valley.
The fans have spoken with 2013/14 Big Bash League crowds (18,778 per game) up by an average of almost 4000 and an average of 910,000 watching in what was dubbed a TV ratings smash by Channel Ten.
Twenty20 cricket is what the people want. Most importantly, it's what the next generation wants.
Night cricket does return to Grafton in 2014/15 after an 18-month break to allow for the installation of a new cricket pitch at McKittrick Park.
Would you like to see Twenty20 Cricket played under lights in Grafton?
This poll ended on 15 October 2014.
No. The current 30-over format works just fine.
Yes. The games are shorter, more exciting & attract more spectators.
No. All cricket is boring.
Yes. It will help entice more young people to play cricket.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Yet the Clarence River Cricket Association kept its deep-rooted traditions firmly planted at its committee meeting on Thursday night, with an overwhelming majority supporting the continuation of the existing 30-over format.
Interestingly, it was a focus on junior development that most agreed made the 30-over format more beneficial, with youngsters not guaranteed a decent go in the shorter twenty20 games.
Their teachers might not agree when they come to school all tired and cranky because they were playing cricket until 11pm on a weeknight.
There was a lot of healthy discussion about ways to attract more spectators and bump up canteen figures at the night cricket fixtures at McKittrick Park, including a motion to move games from Monday to Wednesday nights. This was passed, but not before a hung vote, with second-term president Tom Kroehnert forced to intervene and vote in favour of the change.
Strangely, however, switching to the commercially proven twenty20 was not among them. The word alone will attract more spectators as well as juniors keen to play. It sounds shorter, it is shorter, it's familiar, it's more exciting and it's new.
Most NSW Country Cricket associations have successfully run twenty20 night cricket competitions for several years now, some of those in lucrative franchise formats.
Last year an alternative knockout twenty20 competition was held by the CRCA on Sundays and the concept seemed popular.
As an outsider looking in it seemed to me that change was in the air - that cricketers generally were excited to move in the same direction as the rest of the country and embrace the twenty20 format.
Never mind the increasing number of youngsters keen to become experts of the 20-over game. They'll have to move away.