The region's best cricketers, including Ben McMahon from 2017/18 GDSC Premier League champions Harwood, will have the option to play in the inaugural East Coast Premier League in 2018/19.
The region's best cricketers, including Ben McMahon from 2017/18 GDSC Premier League champions Harwood, will have the option to play in the inaugural East Coast Premier League in 2018/19. Matthew Elkerton

CRICKET: East Coast signals fresh start for region

UPDATE, SEPT 13: The change of name was not endorsed as there is an East Coast Cricket Council already exists in Tasmania. The name North Coast Cricket Council will remain in place for the 2017/18 season.

CRICKET: North Coast Cricket Council has officially changed its name in a bid to start afresh and rebuild the zone's standing as a competitive force.

It was decided at the AGM held on Monday, July 23 to adopt the name East Coast Cricket Council.

Clarence River Cricket Association vice president Andrew McLachlan attended Monday's meeting.

"They changed the name for a couple of reasons," McLachlan said. "The main one being a potential name conflict with the North Coast Zone, and also looking to start a new leaf after some dramas in the past couple of seasons."

The renamed council also introduced a Cricket NSW-endorsed ECCC Premier League incorporating teams from across its four associations.

The 40-over one-day top tier format will be similar to the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League, which established in 1994-95, and the Mid North Coast Premier League introduced last season.

 

It will likely spell the end of inter-district representative cricket at senior level, just one year after Cricket NSW inexplicably dumped the popular Country Cup and Country Plate knockout competitions.

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Each association will have two delegates represented on the East Coast committee.

McLachlan was elected alongside former president Tom Kroehnert as the CRCA's two East Coast delegates at its AGM on Thursday, July 26.

"Presentations from East Coast and the Cricket NSW representative from Mid North Coast Troy McKiernan identified Far North Coast and Mid North Coast as currently running successful premier league competitions," McLachlan said.

"The goal is having a higher standard of cricket and potential pathways for juniors to push up to that higher level and a better chance of getting noticed more often.

"It would be the best cricketers playing against each other week in, week out and then the East Coast zone team would get picked out of performances in the Premier League."

Clubs from the Clarence River, Lower Clarence, Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Valley associations have until August 20 to nominate for the new league.

"It's up to individual clubs or combinations of clubs to put a nomination together," McLachlan said. "Two or three clubs can quite happily combine to put a team in. It's just going to come down to what suits each club best at this current time."

"Each club has just got to look individually and work out whether they feel they've got he depth of quality players and whether they're going to get commitment from their players to travel.

McLachlan suggested East Coast would likely mirror a Mid North Coast initiative which saw teams from outlying towns meet at neutral venues to save travel times.

"This is try to prevent travelling 2.5 hours to get a 40-over a side game of cricket in and spending five hours in the car each day.

"For instance Harwood would go as far as possibly Woolgoolga, which isn't much further than they're currently doing now coming to Grafton."

 

Should teams from Clarence River and Lower Clarence nominate for the East Coast Premier League?

This poll ended on 20 August 2018.

Current Results

Yes. It's a great opportunity for the best players in the zone to play each other week in week out.

0%

No. The GDSC Premier League is the best first grade competition in the zone and shouldn't be destroyed.

100%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.