Mid North Coast cricketers to face up to the challenge of new opponents

New beginnings: Representatives from cricket's new Premier League launched the season on Saturday at Oxley Oval. Photo: Ivan Sajko
New beginnings: Representatives from cricket's new Premier League launched the season on Saturday at Oxley Oval. Photo: Ivan Sajko

NEW teams, new players, new format.

It is hoped the 2017/2018 Mid North Coast Cricket Premier League will inspire younger cricketers.

The inaugural competition is set to start on October 7 with teams from Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Taree vying for the title of best on the Mid North Coast.

Mid North Coast Cricket Council secretary Craig Lobegeier said something needed to change because the sport wasn’t progressing locally.

“The new premier league brings a bit of cricket stability to an area where the standard was dropping,” he said.

“We want to stimulate a bit of interest because as an umpire it can get a bit boring and lacklustre when you are dealing with the same teams every second week.”

Lobegeier said the new competition would provide an opportunity for younger players to burst onto the scene.

“If Jackson Korn doesn’t play for NSW in coming years I would be very surprised,” he said.

“And then we have players like Sam Whitbread from Taree and Jared Humphreys from Port Macquarie who are coming through.” 

Three teams from Taree, two from Kempsey and four from Port Macquarie will challenge each other across 40 overs each week in this season’s new competition.

It is a change from the previous five seasons, especially in the Hastings, where first grade teams dwindled and the quality of the cricket suffered as a result.

Two-day cricket has been thrown onto the scrap heap, with the 40-over format the desired outcome for most players.

The competition was officially launched at Oxley Oval on Saturday with representatives from seven of the nine teams in attendance.