THE Bendigo District Cricket Association has three contingency fixtures already for its 2020-21 season and says its competition won't be impacted by Cricket Victoria's recent staff reductions.
Cricket Victoria last week announced a "significant re-shaping of the organisation" in response to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in job losses, which includes 45 community cricket positions working within regions being cut to just 12.
The community cricket department largely focuses on growing participation of the game through school programs and junior development, coaching support and education and assistance with infrastructure projects.
Under the former structure, cricket in Bendigo had access to a Cricket Victoria development officer, area manager and coaching/talent support manager as part of the Greater Northern Country area, which incorporates Northern Rivers.
Going forward it's still unknown what the Cricket Victoria structure and roles working within grassroots cricket will be, but it's understood there will still be support for the game at local level.
The Cricket Victoria restructure and what it means in Bendigo was among the discussion points at a BDCA presidents meeting on Wednesday night, with association secretary Travis Harling saying it wouldn't have a bearing on the running of the competition.
"As far as the BDCA is concerned, the announcement by Cricket Victoria of its staff reduction and a different business model certainly won't impact on the start of our 2020-21 season," Harling said on Thursday.
"Local cricket will certainly start when it can start; it won't be hamstrung by what is happening in Melbourne.
Local cricket will certainly start when it can start; it won't be hamstrung by what is happening in MelbourneTravis Harling, BDCA secretary
"One of the potential outcomes that I do see as a result of this announcement is because of tighter funding there could be less infrastructure grants available for clubs and councils to build projects such as nets, so that could be a challenge.
"But the main one for us and our junior programs is that Woolworths and Cricket Australia will still partner for the Master Blasters program, which we see as a really important for the introduction to cricket. We do expect that to continue.
"Outside of grant availability and the Master Blasters, we don't see there being a great impact on our local season."
The BDCA has already begun looking at how the 2020-21 season could be structured based on the resumption of sport from the coronavirus pandemic and if some shared grounds, such as the QEO, were still being used for football-netball leagues beyond September.
The BDCA has three fixture models for consideration based around a 2020-21 season starting as usual on the first weekend of October, which would be a standard nine two-day and four one-day games draw.
There's also a fixture model based on a start on October 31 for 18 home and away days that could be nine two-day games or potentially 18 one-day games as a further option.
And there's a model for a start on November 14 whereby a season would only comprise a mix of one-day and Twenty20 matches run as separate competitions.
Given Easter falls on the first weekend in April next year, the BDCA - which abandoned its 2019-20 grand final in March due to the pandemic - would want to have its 2020-21 season completed by the end of March.
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