CRICKET will be back in action across the Murray Towns Cricket Association grounds from this Saturday, with the under 15 cricketers the first grade to hit the field this weekend.
Senior cricket will commence from next week, October 17 while the under 13 grade will kick off during its usual Friday night time slot from October 23.
Senior cricket has had a bit of a shake up for the 2020-21 season, with a new grade added.
Four grades of senior competition will take place, each with six competing teams from the association's 12 clubs.
The grades are A1, A2, B and C grade.
Murray Towns Cricket Association (MTCA) president Hugh Fidge said the introduction of a new grade - the A2 competition - had many benefits for the association and its clubs.
"Last year programming was a nightmare with a number of clubs nominating teams for different grades ... but now (with the introduction of A2s) we have six sides in each grade and it has been a lot easier," he said.
"We have 12 clubs involved in the association and 24 sides nominated so it was perfect for four grades."
"We have 12 clubs involved in the association and 24 sides nominated so it was perfect for four grades."President Hugh Fidge
Fidge said the inclusion of an A2 grade also meant smaller clubs who traditionally did not field an A grade side could play in a competitive competition and still have voting rights on A grade issues.
The inclusion of the new grade also widens the selection pool for the MTCA's Meyer Shield association team.
"Players playing in the A2 competition are eligible for Meyer Shield selection so all clubs will have a chance of having representatives," Fidge said.
Fidge said the association was still finalising its COVID plan but - due to the nature of cricket as a sport - he did not envision too many restrictions that would change the way the game was played.
He said he had been liaising with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) in recent weeks and Murray Towns presidents and captains were due to meet on Monday night to discuss COVID-19 restrictions.
"We will have a COVID marshall at each game, that is a requirement," he said.
And, gone is the practice of using saliva to maintain the shininess of the ball.
"Players can't put spit on the ball, so that is a change," Fidge said.
Murray Towns senior grade teams
A GRADE: Mypolonga, Monarto, Wanderers, Tailem Bend, Jervois, Mannum
A2 GRADE: Claypans, Imperials, Karoonda, Ramblers, Meningie, Perponda
B GRADE: Tailem Bend, Jervois, Mannum, Mypolonga, Monarto, Wanderers
C GRADE: Imperials, Monarto, Perponda, Mypolonga, Ramblers, Tailem Bend