A NEW era in local cricket will start this Saturday when the newly formed Cricket Albury Wodonga Hume League (CAW Hume) kicks off.
The new competition is the amalgamation/merger of the Brocklesby DCA and the Holbrook DCA and will have Division One and Division Two competitions.
Clubs will now be administered at association level via the growing Cricket Albury Wodonga network, taking a large work load off volunteers.
Cricket Albury Wodonga chairman, Michael Erdeljac, said it is an exciting time ahead for the new competition and thinks it will grow cricket in the region.
“Both associations have long histories in their own right and have been a crucial part of the cricket community and pathways for better players,” Erdeljac said.
“The commonsense approach by all clubs and the two associations is a credit to them and shows the enthusiasm to keep cricket alive in the smaller towns”
“Cricket Albury Wodonga has now grown to thirty-three clubs for the 2018/19 season and is excited to have the former Brocklesby and Holbrook clubs on board,” he said.
Apart from a break for World War II, the Holbrook and DCA has been running for almost a century, with the Brocklesby DCA not far behind.
There will be ten teams in the top grade and eight teams in the lower grade.
Division One will be 40 overs per innings and Division Two 35 overs per innings.
Originally the competition was to start last Saturday, but a request from the majority of clubs to put it back a week was accepted by CAW.
The make up of the Division One will be Burrumbuttock, Walbundrie, Walla Walla, Rand, The Rock Yerong Creek, Osborne, Henty, Holbrook, Lockhart and Culcairn.
The Division One CAW Hume sides will be playing to win the Hague Maher Shield in honor of the two families with strong alliances to Brocklesby and Holbrook associations respectively.
In Division Two the competing clubs will be Oaklands, Walla Walla, Walbundrie, Henty, Holbrook, Culcairn, Osborne and Burrumbuttock.
Walla Walla, one of the oldest serving former Brocklesby DCA clubs, is excited about the new concept according to president Craig Wenke.
“It is pretty exciting to be playing different clubs and towns, which should refresh the interest in not only our club but all others,” Wenke said.
Walla Walla will again be led on the field by former North Albury speedster Tom Simmons, who starred last year with bat and ball.
Rand who have won the last four premierships in the Brocklesby DCA will again be one of the sides to beat in the Hume competition.
A lot of mystique surrounds who just might be the side to beat with Osborne certain to be a contender after its maiden premiership in the Holbrook DCA last season.
Holbrook will celebrate its 150th year anniversary in February 2019, and will be keen to cap off a big year in its long history with a strong showing.
They have former players Thomas Stead, William Heriot and Andrew Mackinlay returning after successful stints with Lavington in CAW Provincial competition.
Stead was a member of the Lavington 2012/13 premiership side, while both Heriot and Mackinlay played in last years premiership side with Lavington.
Culcairn has lost two of its young emerging stars with Rory Jenkins joining Lavington, while Dylan Pumpa is also playing in CAW with Albury.
Jenkins along with TRYC’s Michael Driscoll and Holbrook’s Tom Heriot were selected in the Riverina Combined High School Boys cricket team.
The three boys will play in the State Combined High School cricket carnival in Armidale during November.
The side is coached by Anthony Bradley from Deniliquin High School.
With Holbrook DCA the current holders of the O’Farrell Cup it is believed their first defence next month will be from a side selected from the former Holbrook DCA clubs.
Holbrook won the time honored cup back in February when they defeated Wagga by seven wickets at Robertson Oval in Wagga.
Robertson Oval will also be the venue in the first weekend of November for a Sheffield Shield match between NSW and Tasmania.
The match starts on Saturday, November 3 and is scheduled to finish on Tuesday, November 8 and will be an important lead up to the international season for many players.
CAW Hume Round One Division One
- Burrumbuttock v Walbundrie
- TRYC v Henty (Yerong Creek)
- Lockhart v Culcairn
- Holbrook v Osborne
- Walla v Rand
CAW Hume Division Two Round One
- Osborne v Walbundrie
- Culcairn v Burrumbuttock
- Henty v Holbrook
- Oaklands v Walla Walla