Rodney cricket season returns after shake-up

The Waitemata T20 Cup.

Whangateau Rams won the T20 last season.
Whangateau Rams won the T20 last season.

Cricket begins this month.
Cricket begins this month.

The Rodney Cricket Association competition has increased to six teams with the return of a Tomarata-Mangawhai team based in Tomarata.

Executive committee member Raymond Barnes says this season the fixtures have been shaken up for the T20 competition to include Friday night games and there will be just a single round.

Raymond says it means teams will have more of their Saturdays free during the December to January period. The 40-over competition will remain a two-round competition played in a home and away format. The first matches of the season will take place on Saturday, October 31.

Black caps in Kaipara Flats this weekend

The association is hosting a muster and ‘have a go’ day at the Kaipara Flats Sports Club for junior players this Saturday, October 17.

There will be games, activities, prizes and music from 10am to 1pm and a selection of Black Caps players will be there for a meet and greet.

Players who have already signed up for the upcoming season will be able to meet their teams.
Junior cricket for players Years 1 to 8 is held on Friday nights at Kaipara Flats, from 5.30pm.

Meanwhile, Rodney Cricket has received funding to bring a junior cricket programme to eight Rodney schools.

Coordinator Liam Jones says the emphasis will be on providing children from smaller rural schools from Ahuroa to Tapora and Tomarata with the chance to play cricket in a team.

Northland teams scramble for players

The Kaipara Flats Premier cricket team’s first match of the season is scheduled for this weekend, just one week after alert levels shifted.

Kaipara Flats will play Onerahi Cricket Club at the Kaipara Flats Sports Club this Saturday, October 17, from 12.30pm.

Captain Liam Jones says it has been a whirlwind pulling a team together and making sure it is match ready.

Other teams in the Northern Districts Cricket Association competition are in the same position, although Northlanders have been able to train in groups of 10 for some time.

Jones says Kaipara Flats has taken the opportunity to promote younger players that have risen through the junior programmes.

Being the southern-most club in the Northern Districts has its challenges, but Jones says this season the club has worked the location to its advantage.

While other clubs scramble for players, Jones has been scouting talent in Auckland, approaching those who have played in Northland before.

With the volume of players in the Auckland Cricket Association, it can be difficult for rising stars to get noticed. Jones says Northland offers a more streamlined path to the top level.

“The Kaipara Flats Cricket Club is an attractive option because it is only 40 minutes north of Auckland and has a reputation for winning competitions,” he says.

Jones adds that anyone who wants to play club cricket should get in touch, whether it’s in the local Rodney competition or at a premier level.

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