By Sam Watson

A VOTE to change the Leongatha and District Cricket Association season to all one-day games went down to the wire at a recent committee of management meeting.

Last week, clubs in the Leongatha and District Cricket Association were asked for their opinions on how the fixture should be set up in the 2021/22 season.

The first option put to them was to stick with the original fixture, which would see a mixture of one-day and two-day matches played throughout the season.

And the second option was to change the fixture to all one-day matches, like it was last season.

It wasn’t an official vote, as it was the committee of management who made the final decision, but after consulting with clubs, they found that around 10 clubs wanted a shift to one-day cricket.

Some clubs chose not to offer an opinion and two were against the motion.

The outcome of the communication with clubs was then put to the committee of management, and the decision was put to a vote.

Six members of the panel voted in favour of changing to one-day games only, and five voted against, so the motion carried.

One member of the committee of 12 wasn’t at the meeting, and if they were there, the decision may have been grid locked.

It’s understood the delay to the start of the season is what prompted the change to be put up for debate.

If the season started at a normal date, early-to-mid October, there probably would’ve been no issues with playing two-day cricket, however, the lost weeks made it hard to fit a combination of one-dayers and two-dayers in.

Some held the opinion that a combination of one-day and day-two matches would also put the opportunity for an even draw at risk.

Now that there’s an even number of teams in each division, a one-day match only season will make sure the season’s even as possible.

There’s also been speculation Cricket Victoria is indicating seasons should feature one-day matches only, but there has been no formal recommendation by them on that matter.

They did recommend a start date of November 13, but the LDCA is confident they can start on November 6 if the vaccination targets continue to be met.

Some clubs that did vote for all one-dayers have admitted they’d probably like to have got a few two-day games in, but they concluded it would be too much of a hassle to fixture, especially if there were COVID-related interruptions to the season.

As it stands, the league is planning on starting on November 6 and playing seven games up to December 18, before breaking for Christmas.

The season will then resume on January 15, where seven more games will be played with the final round scheduled for February 26.

There is currently one weekend between the end of the regular season and the finals series, allowing any postponed games to be rescheduled if COVID restrictions affect the season.

Now with eight teams in A1, A2, B1 and B2, every team will play each other twice in 14 rounds, once before Christmas and once after Christmas.

And with seven teams in C1 and C2, one team in each division will have a bye per round.

The semi-finals will take place on March 12 and the grand finals will be held on March 19, with a reserve day in place for March 20.

In A1 and A2, red balls will be used, and white uniforms will be worn until Christmas and in the second half of the year, white balls will be used, and coloured uniforms will be worn.

But in the remaining grades, B1, B2, C1 and C2, red balls will be used all year, and they can all decide individually what coloured uniforms they will be wearing.