KINROSS has returned to the Orange District Cricket Association first grade competition for at least the first five weeks of the 2013-14 season.
Set to begin on October 12, the ODCA executive has put together a five-week limited overs cup competition, with the idea of enabling Kinross to sink their teeth into the first grade premiership.
If the students’ initial fears of a less-than-competitive side still comes to fruition, the option of dropping back to second grade still remains.
With the idea of hopefully avoiding the bye, ODCA president Mark Frecklington said Kinross jumped at the chance to again be part of the top grade.
“Sitting down with Pete (Jarick), we thought it best to ask Kinross whether or not they were definitely set on not playing first grade. We gave them the option of playing the first part and they came back virtually straight away,” he enthused.
“They were quite positive about it.”
For at least the first month and a half of the season the ODCA first grade competition will be made up of Orange City, Cavaliers, CYMS, Waratahs, Centrals and Kinross.
The limited over cup will see each side play one another once in coloured clothing with white balls, before a final is played on Saturday, November 16.
However, no points accrued throughout the limited overs cup will count towards the overall first grade standings in 2013-14.
The regular season commences in full on Saturday, November 23, with a round of one-day matches prior to Christmas followed by a full round of two-day clashes.
Both will determine who plays finals cricket this season.
With no points counting, Frecklington admitted there was a risk the first five weeks of the summer will become a “nothing” part of the season proper.
“That is the challenge,” he said.
“We’re looking at potential prize money for first grade with the limited overs cup, but certainly the challenge is making that part of the season competitive.
“It’s an idea that’s been evolving over the last couple of weeks.”
The move also hinges on whether the students are competitive over the first five weeks of the season.
Frecklington was optimistic Kinross’ strength across its first XI had improved since the last ODCA meeting and a positive outcome for the rest of 2013-14 would be achieved.
“Absolutely. We’d prefer them to be part of first grade for the entire season,” he said.
“They’ll now have the opportunity to see what the other clubs are like this year as well. I know not everyone has the same team and I know Kinross isn’t as weak this year as they initially thought they might be.”