THE Northern United Cricket Association will start the 2017-18 season with a bang, with the launch of a new Twenty-20 competition.
To be played over three rounds, with a final scheduled early in the new year – potentially under lights at Colbinabbin - the T20 series will be independent of the normal one-day season.
NUCA secretary Ash Austin said the T20 concept had won the unanimous backing of clubs and had created a buzz around the league.
“The clubs are keen to see it introduced and progressed,” he said.
“We’ve had really good numbers at training.
“I’ve spoken to quite a few teams already before Saturday’s kick-off and everyone has more than enough players for a team, which is unheard of this early in the season.
“I think that’s why having the T20 at the start of the season and straight after Christmas was so appealing, they are our two times we traditionally struggle getting players back on the field.”
T20 fixtures have been scheduled for this Saturday, October 14, January 6, with the final on January 13.
Austin said the association was continuing to chase a sponsor for the T20 competition and would welcome inquiries.
In first round matches, Elmore hosts Heathcote, Bagshot makes the trek to Dingee, Calivil is at home against Goornong, and Colbinabbin is away to Raywood. All games start at 2pm.
Dingee starts the season as reigning premiers and early indications are the club will be again hard to stop.
Last season’s flag win was the second time in as many seasons Dingee had come from either third or fourth place to become premiers, after Raywood and Heathcote filled the top two positions at the end of the minor rounds.
Elmore has been strengthened by the acquisition of top all-rounder Matt Gilmour, from Calivil, giving the Redbacks two of the league’s most dominant players.
Austin said the league would also like to hear from anyone considering taking up umpiring.
For T20 sponsorship and umpire inquiries, contact Ash Austin on 0427 171 082.