A RUSH of interest has boosted Newcastle District Cricket Association's hopes for its rebel suburban one-day and T20 Saturday competition due to kick off this year.
The lure of the rival competition saw more than 20 Newcastle City and Suburban Cricket Association (NCSCA) clubs attend an information session held at Club Charlestown on Wednesday night.
NDCA president Paul Marjoribanks described interest in the new competition as "overwhelming".
"It went down exceptionally well, there appears to be a huge appetite for the competition," he said. "It has gone beyond my initial expectations. There were some clubs that couldn't attend and they have requested more information."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 92 people were allowed to attend the session and it was a full house.
The troubled NCSCA, which turns 100 this year, is facing an exodus of players.
Renegade NCSCA clubs that have already signed onto the new competition include Beresfield Memorial, Nelson Bay, Kotara, Warners Bay, Redhead and Valentine/Eleebana.
The Newcastle Herald has previously reported on a player-led revolution that earlier this year called for the NCSCA board to be dissolved following months of internal brawling after a string of controversial suspensions.
Mr Marjoribanks said two small amendments had to be made to the NDCA constitution at its August annual general meeting before the new Suburban Districts competition could officially get underway.
These include introducing a new suburban membership and approving an advisory committee to run the competition. The rival NDCA competition is only open to incorporated clubs. To join, smaller NCSCA clubs or teams have to become incorporated or affiliate with a larger incorporated club.
"There was a lot of dialogue going on between smaller clubs and larger ones," Mr Marjoribanks said. "Overall there was a lot of positive cricket talk and that fits with our vision of growing the game."
The Herald was unable to contact NCSCA president Phil Northey.
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