THE Batemans Bay Cricket Club’s most recent stay in first grade will end at one season after the club announced it won’t be contesting first grade in 2018/19.
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Club president John Condon said the club will still have teams in second, third, and fourth grade.
“We’ve lost a few senior players, and we’re going to try to develop some some of our kids after a lean year last summer,” he said.
“We thought one more year in second grade might do them some good before trying to get them in first grade next year.”
Condon said it was a decision the club thought long and hard about.
“It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly by any means,” he said. “If we bring the kids up to first grade, and they get flogged, they’ll lose interest.
It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly by any means. If we bring the kids up to first grade, and they get flogged, they’ll lose interest.- John Condon
“The club will be prepared second grade again next season if need be. It’s about keeping our kids interested, and honing their skills.”
Shoalhaven District Cricket Association (SDCA) president Craig Howsan said Batemans Bay are one of two teams to drop out of first grade this summer.
“Officially we found out on Monday night when final nominations went in, but we’d heard some rumours before hand that it might happen,” he said.
“Both Batemans Bay and Bay and Basin have lost several regular first graders, and they’re both in a rebuilding phase.
“It’s a shame that Batemans Bay has dropped out, because the Eurobodalla Shire is a great place to play cricket.”
Batemans Bay will now face the prospect of losing more players due to the SDCA grading system that wouldn’t allow some players to play second grade, but Howsan said they’d consider regrading players if necessary.
“The first step is with the clubs to decide what they want to do with their players,” he said. “Some players are willing to come down a grade, and some players are just first-grade or nothing.
“If everybody is amiable to a regrading agreement, we’ll try and make sure there are as many players playing as possible.
“If we can work a deal, we’ll work a deal, but there’s no hard-and-fast rule surrounding gradings. Every case will be judged on its own merits.”
The Batemans Bay Cricket Club’s season starts this Saturday, October 6, with all three senior sides in action.
The second-grade team will travel north to play Sussex Inlet, third grade will play Bomaderry in Bomaderry, and fourth grade hosts Berry-Shoalhaven Heads.
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