MANNING Cricket's new president Michael Steinmetz hopes to see first, second and third grade competitions reinstated next season.
Mr Steinmetz was elected president this week. A Manning junior, Mr Steinmetz was a long-term player in what was then known as the A-grade competition and a former North Coast representative wicket keeper/batsman.
Manning Cricket dropped first grade when the Mid North Coast Premier League started in 2017/18. This involved first grade teams from the Manning, Hastings and Macleay Associations and originally Taree United. Taree West and Wingham were involved.
However, Taree United and Taree West dropped out last season and the premier league was only contested by five teams. Neither United or Taree West have any plans to return to the premier league
Manning continued with second and third grade competition last season, however, Mr Steinmetz said this will be reviewed.
"I'll be speaking to the Wingham president as soon as possible to see if the club will be applying to play in the premier league,'' he said.
However, regardless, Mr Steinmetz hopes to see a return to first grade next summer. He understands all six clubs that contested last season's second grade, would be nominating.
This would include premiers Great Lakes and Gloucester, the Bushmen joining the Manning competition two years ago. Wingham finished last in second grade last season, but if the club doesn't play premier league, Mr Steinmetz expects Wingham would be a title contender in a revamped first grade premiership.
"I know there were a number of former premier league cricketers who didn't play last season, like Dean Mills, Josh Meldrum and Tom Burley,'' Mr Steinmetz said.
"Others had restrictions placed on them on the number of runs they could score or wickets they could take in second grade. If there's a first grade comp, obviously there won't be any restrictions.''
He said the association would also look at playing some two-day games as part of a first grade competition. "There's a few diehards who want a return to two-day games,'' he said.
Two-day cricket has been usurped by 40 over games in the Manning association.
"There's others who prefer T20 games, so it will be our job to get a balance to keep everyone happy,'' he said.
The start of the premier league also saw the end of Mid North Coast inter-district games featuring representative teams from the Manning, Hastings and Macleay associations. Mr Steinmetz said he'll speak to the MNC Council regarding the possibility of inter-district cricket eventually returning in First XI, under 19s and over 35s.
Manning association's planning committee will meet next month to discuss the 2021/22 format.