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The junior cricket revolution starts

Summer weekends will be free of junior cricket after the Clarence River Junior Cricket Association voted in favour of changing to weeknights at Monday night's meeting.
Summer weekends will be free of junior cricket after the Clarence River Junior Cricket Association voted in favour of changing to weeknights at Monday night's meeting. Debrah Novak

THE revolution is on.

Junior cricket will never be the same again after Clarence River Junior Cricket Association accepted revolutionary notions to the structure of the local competition.

The much-hyped T20 Blast format for the under-10 cricket was formally accepted at Monday night's meeting, along with a schedule shift which will see junior cricket wiped from weekends.

CricketNSW participation manager Michael Procajlo delivered a more thorough presentation about what the new format would deliver, building upon North Coast development manager Dave Szumowski's discussion a fortnight ago.

CRJCA's Adam Brown said members raised several questions, but the association ultimately confirmed their unanimous support for the concept.

He did indicate at least one change to CricketNSW's framework, with the program's duration the target.

"The fees will remain the same but we want to give the kids as much cricket as we can," Brown said.

"It's originally supposed to be an eight-week package but we'll try to run it over 16 weeks."

There is no set time for when the U10s will play, but Brown said he would discuss a plan with the Clarence River Cricket Association to run the juniors before the midweek Night Competition.

Brown's proposal would see the U10s run from 4-5.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon, with the senior teams set to play their limited-overs matches immediately after.

That idea rests heavily on whether CRCA decides to change the format of the limited-overs competition, which was originally played on Monday nights at McKittrick Park.

The South Grafton pitch's unavailability last season saw the competition run over several Sundays.

CRCA will hold its meeting on Thursday night at GDSC.

"It will give junior cricketers the option of sticking around to watch the seniors play," Brown said.

The U10s could end up playing on Wednesdays regardless of the CRCA's decision as the association supported a complete shift from weekends.

The U14s will now play on Thursday nights while U12s and U16s will play on Friday nights.

The shift allows U14 players to back up for the U16 teams which should help bolster playing stocks and increase the number of teams, while U10s could step up to the U12s on Thursdays.

"There will not be any junior cricket on Saturdays," Brown said.

Representative cricket has also been expanded, with the interdistrict competitions set to go back to the six-match home-and-away system after they played only three matches last season.

MOTIONS ACCEPTED

 T20 Blast format for under-10 cricket

 New playing schedule with no local games on weekends

 Representative games back to six-match format

Topics:  clarence river junior cricket association cricket cricket nsw junior cricket junior sport