Just five teams to contest Orange's first grade cricket title this season

NO SECOND TEAM: Craig Rogan and his Orange City teammates will be one of five sides in the ODCA's top flight, the Warriors won't nominate a second team either. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0314sgcrick9

NO SECOND TEAM: Craig Rogan and his Orange City teammates will be one of five sides in the ODCA's top flight, the Warriors won't nominate a second team either. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0314sgcrick9

Orange’s top cricketers face consecutive weeks without play after just five teams nominated for first grade in the 2016-17 season.

Efforts to bring a sixth team into the contest, to alleviate a bye situation, have failed.

Orange City rejected a proposal to bring its second grade team into the top tier at a meeting this week.

CYMS provided a second team, Moroneys, in first grade last season but after an unsuccessful time in which they only won one game, they are not continuing.

“In the last six years it has been an on-going thing. It is not an ideal situation,” Orange District Cricket Association president Mark Frecklington said on Wednesday. 

He said the bye meant teams would miss at least two weeks play at a time – and possibly more if there were washout weekends.

“We have two-day games. We’d have to go to more one-day cricket.

“I wouldn’t rule it out. We’ve talked about it with the clubs and agreed that two-day cricket was for all the season but it is something the committee could look at.”

Frecklington said there would be an email conversation between the association and clubs in the next few days before the final draw was released.

He said they would also look at scheduling Royal Hotel Cup Twenty20 games for teams having a bye to give them a game.

The association is also working with the Waratahs club to see if they can field a first grade side the following season after dropping out several years ago.

And he said the association had made approaches to teams outside Orange, including Blayney who compete in the Bathurst competition.

“We’ve asked that question before,” Frecklington said.

“It is one option, Blayney coming across. We’ve raised that with them but so far to no avail.”

In the lower divisions it is expected seven teams will contest second grade, six in third grade and five in the development grade fourth tier, the Centenary Cup.

Frecklington said this year a limit of just five players over 20 years old would be placed on the Centenary Cup teams to aid junior development.

That will create a total of 23 teams, with between 250 and 300 players this season.

The opening ball of the 2016-17 season will be bowled on the traditional opening date, which is the first Saturday after the long weekend, October 8, weather permitting.

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