READ MORE - EVCA grand finals this weekend now cancelled
THE Bendigo District Cricket Association sympathises with clubs and players who feel "robbed" of playing in the weekend's grand finals, but stands by its decision.
In a letter to all clubs from president Wayne Walsh, the BDCA has outlined the process it went through last week in reaching the decision to abandon its grand finals to assist with coronavirus risk mitigation measures.
The BDCA board's decision followed recommendations from Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria last Tuesday to cancel all cricket in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The first XI grand final was set to be played between top two sides Strathdale-Maristians and Huntly-North Epsom at the QEO.
"While the board acknowledges that we were still within our rights to play the games, managing crowds to be under the 500 person limit and ensure measures were in place to try and limit any infection, the board ultimately decided that the responsible thing to do as part of the broader community was to take away any chance of an infection occurring," Walsh wrote.
"The board completely understands that competing clubs and players feel robbed of the opportunity to play, but when it is all said and done in the scheme of things happening across the globe at the moment, there are far more important things to consider than a local cricket final."
The board completely understands that competing clubs and players feel robbed of the opportunity to play, but when it is all said and done in the scheme of things happening across the globe at the moment, there are far more important things to consider than a local cricket finalWayne Walsh
The BDCA board had developed a plan on Monday for the grand finals to go ahead and had communicated that to the clubs by midday Tuesday, with the proviso that the situation could change.
And it did once Cricket Australia announced the Sheffield Shield and Premier Cricket had been cancelled and it was expected for all other cricket to follow suit, which was supported by Cricket Victoria.
The letter to clubs also explained why the BDCA stayed away from social media updates during the grand final decision process.
"Up until now the BDCA has avoided posting information online generally because of the negativity such posts generally bring. The board communicated directly with its members throughout the day on Tuesday," Walsh wrote.
"The decision not to communicate via social media was validated when it was noted on other social media pages derogatory and uninformed remarks aimed at the BDCA board.
"It is very disappointing to read such comments. The board is made up of cricket enthusiasts who volunteer their time to administer a sport we all love and enjoy."
With the abandonment of the grand finals on Tuesday, the board met again on Thursday where the higher ranked grand final sides were awarded the premierships.
"Congratulations still need to be offered to those teams who made the grand final on an excellent and competitive season and everyone should look forward to coming back next season to play for that elusive flag," Walsh wrote.
"I would like to finish by profusely thanking my fellow members of the BDCA board for their huge support throughout not just this current crisis, but the whole 2019-20 season.
"While we knew all along there was no perfect answer to this situation, we feel that under the circumstances we have made the right choice for the benefit of cricket and the community at large."
2019-20 BDCA premiers:
1st XI - Strathdale-Maristians.
2nd XI - Golden Square.
3rd XI - Bendigo United.
4th XI - Strathdale-Maristians.
Under 18 - Bendigo.
Under 16A - Bendigo United.
Under 16B - Strathfieldsaye.
Under 14A - Huntly North-Epsom.
Under 14B - Strathfieldsaye.
Under 12A - Bendigo United.
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