A REVAMPED and revitalised 2010/11 Gladstone Cricket Inc (GCI) season awaits players taking to the fields today.
GCI president Kym Foura said players had been overwhelmingly in favour of a reduction in two-day games this year, and one round of two-day matches had been scheduled in the fixture.
Foura said a new enthusiastic board was looking forward to the season, and had full expectations the aspects introduced to the season would enliven the competition.
An exciting addition to the season is a Twenty/20 series which will be incorporated into the calendar without detracting from the regular competition.
“Sides will play for points and the winning team will be the one with the most points, and a separate trophy will be awarded,” Foura said. “Players said they wanted Twenty/20 cricket and we've listened.”
This move ensured nothing was taken away from the traditional format, Foura said, and this compromise had been welcomed by clubs which were keen to see the newest form of the game introduced in some capacity.
A trophy has also been added to each grade.
In a positive gain aimed at saving clubs money, the ground fees have been slashed.
“The new board has been able to structure this season to dramatically reduce the ground fees for clubs,” Foura said.
This would see clubs retain a lot more profit, as the reduction is expected to be in the vicinity of $30,000 across the board.
For the first time, Gladstone representative teams will be sponsored, drastically reducing the onus on players' pockets to foot the bill for trips.
Yaralla has come on board as the major sponsor.
“Each player will get an individually numbered cap to keep, and this adds to the privilege of playing for the team,” Foura said.
A new GCI logo has been developed, as well as representative shirts for teams. A travel shirt for players, supporters and parents has also been designed, and lends the squad a more professional look, Foura said.
GCI will introduce weeknight Twenty/20 exhibition matches to be held under lights, following the success of the past two winter Homeloans Etc competitions.
“We've done this also to test the waters for interest in running a social tournament on a weeknight, as there's been plenty of interest from the public about playing,” he said. Two 40-over A-grade games between Yaralla and The Glen and Brothers and BITS at Boyne are playing today.