THE Orange District Cricket Association first grade premiership will be fought out amongst five sides this summer after the Bathurst District Cricket Association amended one of its by-laws to allow Blayney to play in its first grade competition.
Three weeks ago it looked as though Blayney would be jumping ship and joining the ODCA in a bid to play first grade cricket in the Mitchell Cricket Council in 2012-13.
However, the BDCA’s move to allow Blayney to play in its top flight competition has quashed their Orange counterpart’s quest for a sixth top grade outfit.
ODCA president Mark Frecklington said while not ideal, the association would make do with five teams in first grade.
“Yeah, it is (a blow) but it was one of those things that came to us at the last minute,” Frecklington said of Blayney’s approach to the ODCA.
“We weren’t really counting on it but it would have been nice to have had them.
“They’ve gotten what they wanted and that’s to play first grade.”
It is however, not the last the ODCA will see of Blayney.
This summer’s Royal Hotel Cup will be played as a Twenty20 competition with eight teams contesting the Friday night, under lights premiership this summer.
Day-night champions Cavaliers, last year’s runners up Centrals, CYMS, Orange City and Kinross - all regular ODCA first grade clubs - will be in the mix along with Blayney, Molong and a combined Gladstone, Metro and Waratahs unit, still to be named.
It’s an exciting new dawn of day-night cricket in Orange.
“Basically we’re looking at getting the clubs that aren’t involved in first grade in the competition,” Frecklington said.
“We’ll see what we can put together.”
The cricket season starts on Sunday with a representative clash between Mudgee and Orange at Orange Ex-Services Country Club Oval.
Frecklington said he was looking forward to the summer ahead.
“Absolutely. We’re looking at building a successful rep team and selecting players that want to play and want to play together is the first step. Hopefully the results will build on that,” he said.
The ODCA’s second grade competition will have 10 sides this summer while the Centenary Cup will have four teams in 2012-13.
ORANGE: Trent Colley (c), Dave Boundy, James Conn, Luke Clarke, Lincoln Duncan, Matt Findlay, Hamish Finlayson, Clint Grambeau, Charles Litchfield, Chris Novak, Josh Sands, John Warrington, Nick Wright.