‘There will be no easy game’

Tumut and District Cricket Association President Travis Curnow believes Luke Graham (pictured right) and Coolac are the team to beat this season, while Wyangle will have the likes of Tom and Dave Shedden (pictured left) featuring a lot less this season.

Newly appointed Tumut District Cricket Association (TDCA) president Travis Curnow has said the upcoming Elders Cup competition that commences tomorrow could be the closest in recent memory. 

“It’s good to see a strong eight teams playing. I honestly think this year will be really tight,” Curnow said. 

“It will be a competitive season and there will be no easy game. I don’t think anyone will be pencilling in a win with any team.”

Curnow predicted Coolac would be the team to beat, after the seven-time Elders Cup premiers went close to an eighth-straight title in 2019/20, only falling to Wyangle in the grand final. 

“I would have to say Coolac will be there again; they don’t seem to change too much and they have that core group and will be hard to beat,” Curnow said.

The TDCA president did have a young and new-look Adelong Donkeys improving up the ladder, while he thought his side, Wyangle, would be pushing for back-to-back premierships.

“I expect improvement from Adelong; they have those young blokes that are coming into their own. They realistically are building a good team that could be together for the next 10 to 15 years,” Curnow said. 

“I think we will be thereabouts too; we have lost Tom (Shedden) but we have those young blokes who can play a bit.” 

The fact the Elders Cup competition is running in 2020/21 is a testament to Curnow and the TDCA, along with Gundagai District Cricket Association (GDCA) and their president Tim Ryan; with Covid-19 leaving an ominous shadow over the competition in the months leading up to this weekend’s opening round.

“When football and everything was on the backburner, we were worried we might not play, but everything is right now,” Curnow said. 

“Obviously we aren’t going to be impacted as everyone else is; everything is starting to free up and things aren’t quite as restricted, but we will make a few tweaks and things should be right.” 

Curnow did thank his hard-working TDCA committee, who have worked tirelessly to get the competition draw sorted and make sure all teams are Covid-ready. 

“I reckon Hannah has been really good, considering she is not gaining as much out of the game as people like myself who play each weekend,” Curnow said. 

“She has been to every single meeting and has been sending out emails, plus Duane (Shawcross) sorted the draw out again and has been emailing all the teams ahead of the season.”

Cricket NSW enforce Covid guidelines

With the Elders Cup hitting off their competition tomorrow, Cricket NSW is reminding competitions the importance of adhering to Covid-19 regulations.

Cricket NSW’s Gayan Loku, Cricket Manager for Snowy Mountains/South Coast region, which takes in the Tumut and Gundagai District Cricket associations, recently attended the competition’s AGM, where he outlined the various procedures needed to be put in place to ensure cricket can go ahead in a Covid-safe way.

In May this year, Cricket Australia released the Australian Cricket’s Guidelines to clubs and participants regarding Covid-19.

These guidelines were put together by Cricket Australia and State and Territory Associations on how they can best support their cricket communities including clubs, associations and Woolworths Cricket Blast Centres across Australia. 

“In July, Cricket NSW released their Covid Safety Plan for this season containing protocols and practises to help clubs ensure they are able to provide a Covid safe environment for the game in their community,” Loku said.  

“The Safety Plan has been put together to comply with NSW Health Department regulations and requirements and is presented on the official NSW Health template. This then allows clubs and associations to easily adopt the plan as their own and submit to Council.”

Snowy Valleys Council required all clubs and associations to submit a Safety Plan prior to being able to book any grounds or facilities.

Loku said the past few months had presented no end of trouble for cricket in the region.

“This year has been a year like no other. Last season was severely impacted by bushfires and then the Covid pandemic forced the cancelation of finals across NSW,” he said.

“The pandemic has impacted all aspects of the community and everyone has had to adapt to the ever-changing environment that we are living in. This has included community sports, including cricket.

“The environment that cricket will be played in this season will be different with the need to adhere to Covid safety practices such as extra hygiene and sanitisation practises, observing physical distancing, not using saliva to shine the ball, maintaining a register of those in attendance at games and training sessions, etc.

“Unfortunately, there is a greater compliance requirement for this season than there has been previously, but the health and safety of all players, volunteers, officials and supporters is absolutely crucial.”

Loku said Cricket NSW staff would continue to communicate with associations throughout the season.

“This support includes helping set up their registrations, how they are going to recruit in schools and connect to school programs in the area, grant applications, the adoption and implementation of key policies such as child safety and in their off-field administration and season preparation activities,” he said.

“We have also offered all clubs an individual and tailored planning process to help clubs in their preparation for the season.

“We are here to help clubs and the association in setting up for the season and ensuring that the correct protocols are in place and most importantly that we are able to get out on the field to play.”

Despite the obstacles, Loku said Cricket NSW is keen to see the state’s competitions get underway for the 2020/21 season.

“Fortunately, there are currently no active cases of Covid-19 in the region and we are genuinely excited to be able to get the season underway,” he said.