The Western Imperial Razorbacks are ready to roll ahead of this Saturday’s 2019-20 Narrabri District Cricket Association season opener when the Wee Waa-based side will challenge Tatts in a first grade grand final rematch at Collins Park, Narrabri.

The club joined the Narrabri competition in the 2018-19 season and excelled in its first campaign, reaching the first and second grade one day grand finals as well as winning the first grade one day minor premiership and the first grade T20 final.

This year the club is determined to go one better in the first grade comp and win the one day decider.

The Razorbacks will field a very similar side to last year’s campaign, which will again be co-captained by Justin Knight and Jay Hall.

Club president Ty Baker said that the Razorbacks were entering the 2019-20 season with positive numbers and high hopes.

“Pretty much everyone has said that they are keen to go around again, and the feedback we have got has been great,” Baker told the Wee Waa News.

“We seem to be in a situation this season where both our first grade and second grade will have to select teams and maybe leave a few players out.

“We haven’t really set a goal this year, but we’ve got the taste of the turf wicket now so I guess the goal is for our batters to be a bit more patient, score more runs and from that hopefully we can go one step further than last year in the grand final.

“Dougie (Jay Hall) and Justin (Knight) will go around as captains again.

“They are both good leaders, they lead the team around well, all the team listen to them and they went pretty well last year.”

Baker said that he thought that Knight would stand with the bat in the 2019-20 season as well as Toby Reynolds who was sidelined with injury for most of the previous campaign, and added that with the ball, 16-year-old young gun Dylan Smith would be the main man.

Baker labelled Toby Nancarrow as a young player at the club who would excel this season and play more first grade games.

The Razorbacks held their annual general meeting last month where Baker was re-elected as club president.

Megan Brummell took on the secretary’s role, new committee member Bianca Mace filled the treasurer’s position and Hall, Knight and Tim Cameron signed on as committee members.

This season the NDCA first grade landscape has undergone significant change.

Firstly, the one day competition will be a four-team one after two clubs merged to become one.

Civeo and Crossroads formed a new club in the off-season which was officially approved at the NDCA annual general meeting last month.

The club will field one team in the first grade 45-over competition which will be called Civeo.

However, the club will field two second grade teams – one named Civeo and the other called Crossroads – which has seen the second grade competition remain a five-team one with a bye.

Another change to the first grade competition is the removal of the regular T20 competitions where the clubs all enter a team.

It has been replaced with a franchise-based T20 competition where players from all four clubs will be mixed in among one another across four franchises.

The second grade T20 competition will remain a five-team, club-based comp.

Baker welcomed the new first grade franchise T20 competition and said he hoped that it meant that more Razorbacks players would be included in the representative cricket conversation.

“I reckon it’s awesome,” Baker said.

“We haven’t played with many blokes up there in Narrabri.

“With the War Vets and MA Connolly Cup last season we sort of went in and didn’t know the blokes as well.

“This new T20 comp will be good and will help us get in and mingle with a few of those fellas.

“In my opinion actually I thought a couple more Razorbacks deserved a spot in the War Vets team so hopefully this will also trigger that.”

Baker added that his entire first grade team had made itself available for representative selection this season.

The 2019-20 NDCA season will get underway this weekend with the Razorbacks taking on Tatts in first grade and RSL in second grade, both of which are grand final rematches.

The first grade match will be contested at Collins Park, Narrabri, the venue where the two sides contested both the T20 and one day deciders last season.

The second grade match between the Razorbacks and RSL will be played at Dangar Park, Wee Waa.

This season the Razorbacks’ first grade side will play all of its games in Narrabri, while the second grade team has been allocated five home games  at Dangar Park.

In the first grade one day competition each team will play its three opponents four times across a 12-round season.

Eight of those rounds will be played in 2019 from October 12 to November 30, and the final four will be played in February 2020.

While the one day competition breaks, the T20 competition will be played and the teams will also have a Christmas/New Year break.

In the second grade one day competition the five teams will play against their opponents three times across a 15-round season.

The five teams will have three byes each throughout the campaign.

Eleven of those rounds will be played from October 12 to December 21, and the final four will be contested in February.

In January the second grade teams will contest a three-weekend T20 regular season where each team will play the other four teams once.

The second grade T20 decider will be played on Saturday, February 1, between the two top-ranked sides at the completion of those three weekends.

In both one day competitions the top three teams will progress to the respective finals series.

The top-ranked team will progress straight through to the March 14 grand final, while the second- and third-placed teams will meet in
preliminary finals on March 7.

Meanwhile, in the 2019-20 Northern Inland Cricket Council representative season the NDCA will field a War Vets Cup side as well as an MA Connolly Cup team.

Both will be determined to go one better following grand final losses in their respective competitions last season.

The War Vets Cup team will kick-start its campaign on Sunday, October 20 with an away match against Tamworth, while the MA Connolly Cup team will play its first game on October 27 at home against Quirindi.