|Following a trying winter that saw empty sporting fields across the country, senior sport is set to resume with the Horsham Cricket Associaton season to hit off on 7 November with strict COVID-19 guidelines.
The Blackheath-Dimboola Bulls have entered a team in the B grade, and the West Wimmera Warriors will contest the A and C grades, with all three scheduled to play their first game on 7 November.
A week earlier the Junior competitions will start, with the Warriors fielding a team in the Under 16.5s, and both clubs will have a team in the Under 14 competition. Blackheath-Dimboola will also have an Under 12 team.
All senior grades will feature a mix of one-day and T20 games, with finals played in February and March. There are no two-day games scheduled in andy grade this season.
The Association will crown the three senior T20 champions after triple-header grand finals played at the Horsham City Oval on 14 February, and the one-day premiers after semi-finals and a best-of-three grand final series played during March.
The Under 16.5 and 14 finals will take place in late February and early March, and the Under 12s will not play finals.
The senior Warriors team will be looking to extend their good form from last season after winning both B grade grand finals contested when they step back up to the A grade, and their C grade team will be out to defend the T20 title they won earlier this year. The A grade team will commence their season o 7 November with a game against Homers at Davis Park in Nhill, and the C grade will host Lubeck-Murtoa at Sir Robert Menzies Park in Jeparit.
The Blackheath-Dimboola Bulls did not have a great 2019/20 season in the A grade and will contest the B grade this season, where they won a premiership two seasons ago in 2018/19. The Bulls’ first game will be against Horsham Saints at Coughlin Park in Horsham on 7 November, and their first home game will be the following week against Jung Tigers
All aspects of cricket, indeed all sports, this season will be the need to adhere to strict COVID-19 guidelines to will apply not just during the matches but also will apply to training sessions and after game socialising.
Players will have to wear masks at all times other than when batting, bowling, or fielding, and umpires will also have to wear masks.
No equipment is to be shared, and only the players are to handle the game ball.
Training sessions are to be restricted to groups of up to ten, with players not moving between groups during any one session.
Full details of Cricket Victoria’s Return to Train and Play Guidelines can be found on their website.