Twenty20 comp taking over
Twenty20 Cricket is the order of the day as the Clarence River Cricket Association looks to turn a negative into a positive.
Current refurbishments mean McKittrick Park will be out of action for most of the summer and that means goodnight to the usual 30-over Monday Night Competition.
Its replacement will be a knockout Twenty20 competition for the Neil and Coral Frame Shield, starting this Sunday.
"We've had a good response with all the Grafton clubs who play on Saturdays submitting entries," CRCA president Tom Kroehnert said.
"We've also got a team coming up from Coffs."
The CRCA have tried a similar concept in the past when McKittrick Park was out of action for under lights competition.
However, there will be an extra incentive this year with $500 prizemoney thrown in for the winning team and $200 for the runner up.
Kroehnert hinted that the shorter format of the game will likely have a permanent place in the Clarence in the future.
"Twenty20 is the way the game's heading as the most popular form of cricket," Kroehnert said.
"We're a bit limited on free Sundays with all the rep cricket, so this time around it's a knockout competition with just the clubs represented.
"But people seem to want to play the shorter version of the game and we'd like to open it up to the general public in the future."
A new pitch is being laid at McKittrick Park in what many describe as a long overdue overhaul.
As a result it's unlikely that a single ball will be bowled this season at the venue.
But it will provide greater benefit to the region's cricketers in future years, according to CRCA vice-president Neil Disson.
"It's an old turf wicket that's been added to a lot over the years and needed the top pulled off," Disson said.
"Clarence Valley Council have replaced it with proper cricket pitch soil, it's laser levelled and won't slope away anymore.
"Fortunately the weather gods have been kind so it should be finished around Christmas.
"But then we have to wait for the grass to grow so I don't think we'll see any cricket played on it this season."