Landmark season for cricket
By GREG WHITE
WITH days to go till the first ball touches the bat, Coffs Harbour District Cricket is poised for a landmark season.
Six teams will battle for the A grade championship and president Ken Robinson says transfers and the acquisition of new talent has made picking a potential premier like reading a mystery novel.
"Sawtell are fancied because they hold the title," he said.
"That doesn't necessarily mean they'll keep it by the end.
"Being top dog makes everybody else keen to take it from you."
Joining Sawtell in battle are West Coffs, Diggers Ex- Services, Nana Glen, Coffs City Colts and new outfit Bellingen-Dorrigo.
"The eventual aim is a stand alone team on the plateau," Robinson said.
"At the moment there's a lack of experience so a joint venture with the valley side is the best way to bring them on, especially with a turf wicket at their disposal.
"With the long term aim of having everyone on turf it gives them a good start."
The 15 round competition will recess between December 17 and January 7 in preparation for the ING Cup clash between the New South Wales Speed Blitz Blues and the Victorian Bushrangers at the Stadium.
"The teams still need to be finalised," Robinson said, "but I'm told Shane Warne will be available."
A cricketer's dinner is in the wind for the ING clash with details to be announced soon.
Robinson said the Stadium will also be utilised for the finals series but that may not be where the association ends.
"There needs to be use of the Stadium wicket to work it in before the ING game so we are negotiating for other A grade games at the venue."
Included in a packed program is the interdistrict stoush with Lower Clarence on January 15 and the endless quest for success in the Country Cup.
"The Cup is a sore we'd like to fix," Robinson said.
"We start well then stumble.
"Maybe this will be our year."
In preparation for the season, Robinson is organising a training course at the Catholic Club on Wednesday October 5, designed to run for two hours.
"It's to benefit umpires, scorers and players seeking a deeper knowledge of the laws of cricket.
"To book for the night, call me on 6651 1786."
A full preview of the 2005-06 season will appear in the Coffs Coast Advocate on Saturday, October 8.