Simon Moore is among the majority of Newcastle first grade cricket captains to come out swinging at a proposed format change reducing one-day matches to 40 overs this season.
The Merewether skipper and NSW Country’s highest run scorer said he was “firmly against” moving away from the traditional 50-over fixtures for 2017-2018.
“I think it’s a bit of a farce myself,” Moore said.
“I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Younger representative players coming through still play 50 overs, Australia still play 50 overs and senior level country championships still play 50 overs. So why not us?
“I can’t see any reason for it. I’m firmly against it.”
The recently proposed change came about following a review of competition structures in all grades by a specially formed Newcastle District Cricket Association (NDCA) sub-committee during the last 12 months.
NDCA chairman Paul Marjoribanks defended the decision to both reduce overs in the first grade Tom Locker Cup one-day series and put back start times at least two hours from the current 10am arrangement.
“We thought a later start in the one-day competition would be worth looking at,” Marjoribanks said.
“It’s been that way in second grade now for a number of years and it might be a way of trying to keep players, especially those who might have to work on Saturday mornings.
“Plus we haven’t thought the Tom Locker Cup has been as competitive as it should have been recently. Some of the finals have been finishing in 20-odd overs.
“It’s really just something to trial. It’s only a five-round competition so it’s not the lion’s share of the season.”
The NDCA sub-committee also adjusted the draw for this season, which starts on September 30, with all one-dayers being played first in a block similar to the national domestic scene.
In addition T20 matches separate from minor premiership rounds and form into their own tournament-style of play around the same time as the Big Bash.
Debate originally surrounded a recommendation to reduce two-day games from 90 to 80 overs each day and allowing play to start later than 11am.
But Moore said the one-day shift came as a “complete surprise” and he was concerned about a lack of “consultation” with current players.
Moore’s fellow club leaders Josh Trappel (Hamilton-Wickham), Matt Gawthrop (University), Steve Mace (University), Jeff Goninan (Stockton-Raymond Terrace) and Jack Downing (Newcastle City) also oppose the move.
However, incoming Wests captain James King was embracing the change, saying the Rosellas were “looking forward to the new format” and “hoping to improve our recent results in one-day games”.
Cardiff-Boolaroo skipper Richard Green weighed up the arguments for and against, but said he will wait to “judge it after a few games”.
Meanwhile the Newcastle representative team will play a 50-over one-day trial match against Sydney first grade squad Western Suburbs at Ron Hill Oval on Sunday. It will follow on from Friday night’s fundraiser for former Test spinner Robert “Dutchy” Holland at Toronto Workers Club.
And in club changes Andrew Jeffrey is set to take the reins at Toronto from retiring Paul Toole while Univeristy have picked up wicketkeeper-batsman Nathan Hudson (Toronto) and all-rounder Colby Gallagher (Charlestown). Grand finalists Hamilton-Wickham and Belmont also have shuffles with Pumas strike player Mark Dries 50-50 until Christmas and opening batsman Greg Hunt going from Cahill Oval back to Sydney.