Shock decision on Far North Coast cricket finals
PLANS to push forward with the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket finals have been scrapped as forced cancellations from the coronavirus continue.
The four remaining teams were still keen to play on Tuesday after Cricket Australia left the door open by only issuing a recommendation that competitions cease.
The Far North Coast Cricket Council decided that all games under its banner should be cancelled from the advice of Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW.
All junior and senior cricket across the Far North Coast has now been cancelled for the rest of the season.
"Everyone is falling into line and you just can't take the risk," LJ Hooker League president Phil Melville said.
"The players wanted to go on but by last night they were realising that it just wasn't going to happen.
"There is obviously disappointment there, all it would have taken was for one player to get sick and we would have had a bigger problem on our hands, though.
"We're an affiliate of the Far North Coast Cricket Council and we certainly weren't going to break away from any decision they made."
The cancelled season means Cudgen are premiers for a third straight year.
Casino, Lismore Workers and Pottsville were also set to play semi-finals.
In the past, Ballina Bears and Casino were declared joint premiers in 2011-2012 when the final was washed out.
Since then there has been a result each year including 2016-2017 when Cudgen and Alstonville managed to get on despite a flood in the Tweed region at the time.
"They're a pretty resilient group of players and they would have loved to have got on," Melville said.
"It doesn't take away from how well clubs like Casino and Lismore Workers did this season.
"But what's happening at the moment is bigger than all of us.
"We've had to postpone presentation night and will probably look at having a preseason launch instead later in the year."
Meanwhile, kids Cricket Blast programs for the remainder of the 2019-20 season will be cancelled. Cricket NSW is currently working with Cricket Australia and the Office of Sport regarding refunds and Active Kids Vouchers.