Nagambie Cricket Club has joined the big league.
As of next season, the NCC will compete in the Cricket Shepparton competition, with the decision to shift from the Seymour District Cricket Association finalised last week.
Club president Steven Brook was rapt the side had been formally voted into the new competition.
‘‘It’s great. It’s something the club has been working towards for some time and we’re excited to be joining Cricket Shepparton,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s good for the club as a whole, from juniors all the way to seniors.
‘‘We understand there are going to be some tough weeks and years ahead, but we’re prepared for that and we’re prepared to work hard.’’
He said to move from the Seymour and District Cricket Association to Cricket Shepparton was not taken lightly, and was in fact the result of 18 months of consideration.
‘‘It’s hard for us to leave the Seymour association; the club has been involved for many decades and had a lot of success, but we have to look towards our future and it’s just a really good move in our eyes,’’ he said.
‘‘The Nagambie Cricket Club thanks Ben Trezise and his executive for their understanding that this is the best decision for us.
‘‘The club holds no ill will towards the SDCA and wishes the league the best of luck in the future.’’
With Nagambie joined by Waaia in petitioning for an A-grade team, as well as Euroa Cricket Club’s application to move into the top grade being met with little resistance, the Haisman Shield is likely to become a 13-team competition next season.
‘‘We would not have put it up for discussion if we did not think it was a good thing for the association,’’ Cricket Shepparton president David D’Elia said of Waaia’s and Nagambie’s proposals.
‘‘We need to support people who come to us wanting to improve their clubs.’’
SDCA was not opposed to Nagambie’s transfer and the club is likely bring a C-grade, under-12 and under-14 team along with its A-grade squad. D’Elia said Cricket Shepparton could only benefit from its new additions.
‘‘It is not as if we are taking players out of current clubs,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re bringing new players and new clubs into the association, so hopefully the standard will only improve.
‘‘A strong association has a good number of clubs. Thirteen teams in A-grade gives every team a bye and the ability to play each other once throughout the season, which is basically the current length.
‘‘A top six of 13 teams also still gives every club a reasonable chance of playing finals.’’