It’s regroup time for BITS Cricket Club
CRICKET: Five teams will compete in 2019/20 Frenchville Sports Club Capricorn Challenge but only one will be from the Gladstone Region.
Gladstone side The Glen will join defending champions Gracemere Bulls, Frenchville Falcons, Rockhampton Brothers and Parkana Cricket Club, who are returning to the top division this season.
Four full rounds of home and away matches will be played from this weekend with the grand final to be held on March 15.
Games will be the usual 40-over, one-day matches with the minor premiers going straight into the grand final and the second and third-ranked teams playing in a qualifying semi-final.
The notable omission is BITS Cricket Club with the club deciding not to field a Capricorn Challenge team and instead focus on the Gladstone competition.
Senior player Nev Judd said the decision to pull out of the Capricorn Challenge wasn’t taken lightly.
“Obviously you want your best players in A-grade and the Cap Challenge is a great concept but we’ve either 15 or 45-year-olds and then the few in between,” Judd said.
“We are all here to play social, country cricket and if you are putting people in a grade they aren’t quite capable of we find they usually don’t come back again if they are getting bowled first ball for a duck.”
Judd, 44, is one of those senior players the juniors will naturally turn to in the absence of 2018/19 captain Terry Sawyer and Jason Batchelor.
Sawyer will take a break this season while Batchelor is nursing a thumb injury.
A lack of senior personnel was ultimately behind the decision to stick to the Gladstone Cricket Incorporated competition.
“We looked around the table at who was left and decided to play the GCI Super League on Sundays,” Judd said.
“We could be putting in three teams because a lot of the BITS Saints footy boys want to have a social hit.
“It’s reserve grade and B-grade stuck together and the only senior competition in Gladstone and we played that last year.
“Most of the time the boys played Saturday and backed up again on Sunday.
“It’s a pretty even comp and there’s no real jump in skill level.” Judd indicated BITS would look to return to the Capricorn Challenge “in a season or two”.
The GCI Super League will begin on October 13 with the draw expected to be finalised next week.