Photo / Counties Manukau Cricket Facebook

For the second consecutive season the number of teams playing cricket in Counties Manukau has grown, despite COVID restrictions delaying the start of the season.

There are a total of three additional senior teams already registered – a result Counties Manukau Cricket Association and its clubs can be very proud of given the uncertainty in the current COVID climate. Most sports are noticing a drop off in registrations since COVID hit.

CMCA Cricket Manager Peter Zanzottera believes there are a number of factors driving these positive outcomes.

“Probably the biggest factor is our clubs’ work ethic and desire to engage with their communities,” he said. “The proactive approach to working with their current members in providing enjoyable environments, and their efforts in reaching others is no doubt a significant factor.

“We also believe that the work done in wider community settings with the Ethnic Community Tournaments, and Business House Leagues is seeing a flow-on effect, with many participants in these now joining their local clubs.”

The region’s Development Manager Serena Somlyai thinks the growth they are seeing would have been even greater if the lockdowns hadn’t hit.

“We are still hearing of a lot of potential players waiting to see what the season will look like before committing to it,” Somlyai said. “To ensure we engage as many people as possible we are keeping registrations open until eight days out from whenever the first weekend of senior cricket begins.”

The association is also looking to be creative with its junior club cricket registration dates to allow maximum uptake and is looking at re-arranging windows for all of its community and school-based events in order to keep last year’s momentum going.

“This is a tough time for our community. Like many other community-focussed organisations, we want to be there when the lockdown ends to provide as many enjoyable experiences for our people as possible – they deserve it,” Somlyai added.

The Premier grade has expanded this season with Weymouth and Southern Counties (a composite side from Waiuku, Tuakau and Mauku) making six teams in the grade.

Senior A has grown to 14 teams, up from 13 last season. But that is despite the two new Premier teams effectively coming up as well, so in essence, there are three new sides in Premier or Senior A cricket from last season.

There are 12 teams entered so far in Senior B and another 12 confirmed for the T20 competition.

Article Published by Counties Sports Hub

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