THE Royal Hotel Cup has been given an overhaul for the 2012-13 season.
The Orange District Cricket Association’s day-night competition has been reduced from 40 overs a side to the Twenty20 format.
ODCA president Mark Frecklington said the success of the Big Bash had encouraged the change.
“We talked about it at the end of last season and we ended up going with 25 overs,” Frecklington explained.
“Then we decided we should probably play Twenty20 rather than creating a new version of the game. We’ll go with the Big Bash, which is going well.”
The shorter format would allow the games start at 6pm and finish earlier.
Cavaliers claimed a 14th Royal Hotel Cup crown when they took out the 2011-12 title this year.
Cavaliers president Chris Martin said he his team would probably prefer to play 40-over cricket because they have been successful in that format.
However, he’s confident the team could be competitive in the shorter game.
“I think that’s how we play our cricket,” Martin said of the Twenty20 style.
“We’re pretty aggressive. In saying that, it’ll be a test.”
Martin believes the shorter format could have other benefits.
“It’s something different. It might get a few more bums on seats,” he said.
“When we played 40 overs, we weren’t finishing until 11 o’clock and no one had a chance to go back to the pub. We weren’t able to support our sponsors.”
Cavaliers downed Centrals in the last RHC decider and Centrals president Nick McGrath expects to see his club at the pointy end of the field again.
“We’ve done well in the ODCA lower grade Twenty20 competition in the past two years so I’m hoping we can translate that success into some sort of form on Friday nights too,” McGrath said.
“We’ve got a few big hitters who could make the step up and prove to be pretty handy Twenty20 players.”
CYMS senior player Dave Neil is confident his team will be competitive in the Twenty20 format.
“We should have a decent chance in the 20-twenty competition,” Neil said.
“Most of our bowlers can throw the bat and, because we’re a young team, we should be one of the better outfits in the field, which is vital in the format.”
Frecklington said the ODCA was hoping to expand the 2012-13 Royal Hotel Cup competition from six teams to eight.
The president said the executive was looking into where the extra teams could be sourced from.
There are options, such as Blayney and Molong, some Orange clubs fielding a second team and clubs which are not represented in the top grade entering a team.
Nominations close next week and Frecklington said they would know more then.
The ODCA season starts on October 6.