Geraldton Regional Cricket Board president Nic Rafanelli on the 2021-22 season

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Dongara celebrate their B-grade championship win.
Camera IconDongara celebrate their B-grade championship win. Credit: Colin Sherman/RegionalHUB

In his 10th year as Geraldton Regional Cricket Board president, Nic Rafanelli has declared the 2021-22 season a winner.

“It was a success and for me the highlight was the three bottom teams were in contention for the one remaining finals place in the last round,” Rafanelli said.

“There was also defending the women’s country week title and because we need people like him, that Adriano Paradella was a WACA Volunteer of the Year Award nominee.”

Rafanelli also endorsed retaining a 16-round season including one full round of Twenty20s.

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But he is against allowing bowlers more than 10 overs in 50-over games which was introduced in 2010-11 (it was a 12-over limit from 1995-96).

“I don’t see any reason for the format to change, it is working well and playing T20s under the lights at Wonthella makes them more an event for players and spectators alike,” he said.

“Personally, I think the 10-over limit works well at the moment and allowing unlimited overs could push some away from the game if they aren’t getting a bowl.”

The women’s competition has gone from strength to strength and Rafanelli said the key to that continuing was relatively even player skills and teams.

“It’s still in its infancy but moving forward slowly — we have to ensure the gap between top and bottom players doesn’t get too wide as that could cause players to drop out. “Likewise, it would be best for all teams to be fairly even and competitive.”

Women’s country week is in Bunbury next year and Rafanelli said sending a second side was yet to be discussed.

“We must be careful because with four club teams we’d be taking half our players away as opposed to men’s country week where we draw from 11 teams.” Dongara defended the B-grade premiership, their fourth title of the past six summers. Some feel the GRCB should oblige them to re-enter A-grade. “My belief is Dongara should play A-grade and it’s been brought up before but there isn’t a push from the board to compel them to.” “Overall our cricket is excellent, partly because of the players and also because of the wickets we play on and amenities we have.

“Our biggest challenge is to maintain voluntary labour to prepare wickets and avoid going to hard wickets.

“We had a good number of juniors playing senior levels last season and the grant from the City of Greater Geraldton to help with the cost of curating wickets was a huge help. “I thank our sponsors, Young Motors, Bendigo Bank, GMA Garnett, Kookaburra and others because without them we’d be unable to run a professional and competitive cricket league.”

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