THE Orange District Cricket Association’s 2013-14 first grade competition will remain a contest between five sides after Kinross nominated its first XI outfit in second grade for the upcoming summer.
The students’ first grade withdrawal leaves defending premiers Orange City, Centrals, Cavaliers, CYMS and the returning Waratahs as the five sides in this year’s top flight.
Master in Charge of Cricket at Kinross Geoff Hull said the decision to drop back a grade was based on experience.
“It’s difficult. Our first priority is to do well in our school program,” Hull said, with Kinross still nominating for a place in the Twenty20 Royal Hotel Cup.
“That comes from confidence out of weekend cricket.
“We don’t believe we’ll have the depth in our batting to be able to blunt the attack of some teams this season.
“We’re being realistic about the level we’re at.”
ODCA president Mark Frecklington was made aware of Kinross’ plight last week and wasn’t surprised to see the students nominate two second grade sides at a special general meeting at Riawena Oval on Tuesday night.
In total, 10 teams nominated for second grade.
Admitting his initial reaction to Kinross’ decision was “shock”, Frecklington said he understood the club’s position.
Hull and Frecklington both believe Kinross will be back in first grade for the 2014-15 season.
“I don’t think they’ve got the players to be competitive in first grade,” Frecklington said of this year’s position.
“There’s a lot of younger kids and they’ve probably lost a few of the older ones from last season.”
This summer was supposed to be the first the ODCA first grade competition had six sides since 2010-11.
Waratahs signalled their intention to return to first grade and with five teams already existing in the competition, things were looking on the up.
And that still might be the case.
Molong is looming as a chance at filling the sixth position in the competition.
There are doubts whether the Molong cricket competition played last season - consisting of three Molong sides, one Manildra and one Cudal outfit - will again be played in 2013-14.
The ODCA would welcome any interest from Molong.
“Where they fit, whether it be in firsts, seconds, thirds ... at this stage it’s a bit of an unknown, but there’s potentially four additional teams there,” Frecklington said.
“We’ve had contact with them about playing in Orange, we’ll have to sort something out sooner rather than later.”
The ODCA season begins on October 12.