Upper Hunter District Cricket Association yet to make call on competition result

Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson

A FINAL call on the Upper Hunter District Cricket Association's (UHDCA) result for the 2019/20 season is yet to be made, following its cancellation as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last week it was announced the semi and grand finals for A and B grade would not be played out, with the 'wooden spoon playoff' also not going ahead.

However, the UHDCA committee has been unable to meet and decide upon a fair result for the season due to the social restrictions that have been put in place by the state and federal governments in recent weeks.

At this stage, the options appear to be limited to calling the season null and void - awarding no winner - or handing the titles to the two sides that qualified for their division's grand finals first.

If the latter is to be the case, then Belltrees would receive a historic premiership in A grade and Rouchel would have a reserves trophy to put in the cabinet.

However, association president Tim Johnson revealed it could be a while before any conclusion is reached.

"Given the unprecedented circumstances, we will need to consider whether or not we will award major premierships," he said.

"It will be a decision for the committee, however given social distancing rules it may be a little while before we can have a committee meeting."

When that meeting does come, there is sure to be some divisiveness though, with different opinions already being put forward.

From the conversations he has had so far, Johnson has been able to state that alternative views are already being put forth.

"There are some within the association who have the view that we should treat the cancellation of matches like a washout and the highest placed team is awarded the major premiership," he said.

"While others feel that given the unprecedented upheaval that COVID-19 has caused across the country we should mark the event by not awarding the major premierships."

The president stated there was merit for both arguments, and they would be further discussed at an appropriate time.

Until then, teams across the competition will be waiting with bated breath for the final outcome.

It is without a doubt one of, if not the most unique situations cricket officials will find themselves in, and it will be the hope of all involved that a sense of normality will return ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

Other sports that have cancelled or postponed their seasons include rugby league, rugby union, football, Australian rules football, netball and hockey.