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Cluttered calendar has no room for Twenty20 fixtures

The Albany Cricket Association has again scrapped Twenty20 cricket from its fixtures calendar, opting to return to solely one-day cricket this upcoming season.

The ACA released fixtures for the upcoming season this week with the competition disbanded after its re-emergence last season, continuing the association’s on- and-off affair with the game’s shortest format.

A start date for the upcoming season was confirmed on Monday night with A-grade and C-grade competitions beginning on Saturday, October 20, and B-grade a week later.

Last season was the first time Twenty20 cricket was played in each of the three grades in a separate competition for a cash prize, after previously being played in the A-grade competition only in 2015-16.

ACA president Terry Eaton said the response had been mixed from clubs, leading to the competitions in each grade again being put on the backburner.

“A couple of the clubs wanted it to be played for premiership points,” he said.

“In the end we had some forfeits and teams not taking it as seriously last season.

“It was just too cluttered and we wanted to play more 45 and 50-over cricket so we will stick to what has been prior proved.”

Eaton said a new franchise- style T20 tournament would likely be staged later in the season, preferred over a club-based competition.

Seven clubs will again contest the A-grade title, the first time since 2014-15 there has been no changes to the competition’s top tier.

“It’s pleasing that clubs have done their work and look like they’re ready to roll,” Eaton said.

“It sounds promising.”

Six clubs will contest the B-grade competition with Narrikup being promoted from C-grade to have two teams in second tier at the expense of Collingwood Park who will play in C-grade.

For the first time the ACA will introduce a Twenty20 colts competition to be played on Friday nights under lights with a likely start date of November 3.

Albany will also contest the new Country XI Cup competition which will see them take on Bunbury, Busselton-Margaret River and a WA Country XI team in a round robin 50-over inter-association competition.

The top two sides will contest the final, likely to be played at the WACA Ground on Sunday De-cember 2. The competition re-places the longstanding Country Cup competition which had a season in hiatus last season for the first time since introduced in 1980-81.

Albany was the last winner of the Twenty20 Country Cup competition in 2016-17 when they defeated Bunbury to clinch the cup for the first time since 1986-87.

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