I FIND the Newcastle District Cricket Association’s proposal (‘‘NDCA pushes premer league’’, Herald, 20/12) to introduce a Premier League, effectively cutting four or six current clubs from the major Newcastle cricket competition, somewhat misguided.
If, as they allegedly assert, the issue at hand is that the current competition is producing lopsided results, they should perhaps be casting their eyes towards the top of the ladder rather than the bottom. If the plethora of class players that abound at Merewether and Hamwicks were more evenly redistributed among the other clubs, undoubtedly the competition would be more balanced.
The current clubs have all met the set NDCA criterion that includes financial and operational viability. The issue is not that these clubs are unviable – this year’s cellar dwellers, Newcastle City, were club champions a mere two years ago, the same year that Western Suburbs (now leading the club championship) struggled to even field four grade teams.
For whatever reason, the top two teams, Merewether and Hamwicks are overfull with talent, leaving a gap among the rest. This is not a new problem in sporting competitions – look at the NRL salary cap or the AFL draft. These people know that you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Cutting clubs will not solve the problem, it will reduce the numbers playing grade cricket. But is that the desired outcome?