Shepparton News

Taking block for opening ball


With less than a month until the slated November 13 season start date, the format of the 2021-22 Goulburn Murray Cricket season has become clearer following a meeting of the league and its 20 clubs.

Two-day cricket will return to the A-grade fixture after a 2020-21 season consisting solely of one-day games, while all other grades will resume with the traditiona­l 40-overa-side format.

GMC operations manager James Stokes outlined the mixed-format split, with eight one-day games and three two-day matches to take place in the league’s top tier.

“We’re going to play a two-day game before Christmas,” Stokes said.

“February will be two-day games leading into finals, which will be two-dayers for A-grade.

“We put it out to the clubs and they were pretty unanimous that they wanted a mixture. They didn’t want to go down the oneday format.”

All men’s grades start on November 13, while the women’s competitio­ns start on November 14.

Stokes also confirmed two Sundays in January and February would be kept in reserve in the event more of the season was lost before November 13.

Meanwhile, the league’s juniors could be off and running sooner than their senior counterpar­ts — potentiall­y across the border if Victoria’s reopening hits a snag.

“Marcus Maher (junior coordinato­r) is hoping to try and start the junior competitio­n on November 6,” Stokes said.

“We were talking . . . and clubs were reasonably happy with it.

“If it looks like Victoria will be held up, maybe we could just swap it over and play out at Mathoura and Moama.

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