A NEW FRONTIER: Cricket expands in Bundaberg
CRICKET: The final frontier of Fraser Coast and Bundaberg’s sporting rivalry has officially been crossed.
The NewsMail can exclusively reveal that the Bundaberg Cricket Association Division 1 competition this season, at the start, will feature teams from both Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
The sport now joins rugby league, football, rugby union and Aussie Rules that have both regions competing against each other in men’s competition.
The BCA confirmed the news today after holding its final meeting before the start of the season on Monday.
BCA president Ian Grills said with limited teams competing down there, it made sense for a couple of them to travel north to play against Bundy’s best.
“Both centres are all for it,” he said.
“We agreed on virtually all terms and conditions for the competition.
“It can only make the competition stronger.”
The competition will feature six teams including one from Hervey Bay, one from Maryborough and Bundaberg sides Norths, The Waves, Brothers and Past Highs.
The season is starting on the week of September 28, one week after the other Bundaberg Cricket Associations start on September 21.
Bundaberg’s Division 1 sides would play a trial against each other on that weekend to get ready with Hervey Bay and Maryborough doing the same.
Each team would play each other twice, home and away, with finals to start in the first week of December.
It is being proposed that matches are 45 overs each before rising to 50 as summer starts.
The top four teams in the competition would then play in the semi finals with first playing fourth and second playing third.
The teams that finished first and second would host the final, either in Hervey Bay, Maryborough or Bundaberg.
If first place won their semi then it would host the final in the middle of December.
That includes Hervey Bay and Maryborough teams.
Maryborough and Hervey Bay could also host the decider if their sides, which finish second or third, win that semi and fourth beat first in the other semi.
Grills said it makes sense and creates the chance for the Fraser Coast to host if it is successful during the season.
The season would only be held during the first half of the year with competitions after Christmas reverting back to a Bundaberg only and a Hervey Bay/Maryborough only competition.
In Bundaberg, two day cricket will be held between January and the finals to determine the best side in that format.
This isn’t the first time Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast have combined for a single competition.
The Sugar Cities competition was run earlier this decade until 2015.
Fraser Coast side Past Grammars won the last title, defeating Bundy’s Brothers in the decider.
The new format will also decide the NewsMail Cup in Division 1 this year.
The top two Bundaberg sides from the intercity competition will battle in the final on December 22.
The Cup will also be decided in Division 2 and 3 by the top two sides, just like in the previous season.