This week Cricket Australia released a public statement about the importance of Premier/Grade Cricket in playing a central role in the Australian cricket talent identification and development pathway.
Of significance is that this was a joint announcement by the heads of Team Performance and Game & Market Development, Pat Howard and Andrew Ingleton respectively – a cohesive approach not always evident within sporting organisations.
A full copy of the statement can be viewed or downloaded from here.
This may be the start of appropriate direction to ensure the standard of Premier/Grade Cricket is enhanced. As of recent times the churn involving fillers in the lower grades has been more aligned to participation than progression of ability.
If Premier/Grade Cricket shifted away from the historic structures, accepting that current times are different, maybe lower grades are not required. Move these players into a higher grade in a different level of competition. Free up resources of Premier/Grade Cricket, coaches and facilities, to focus upon improvement of players who are likely to advance rather than waste time trying to find enough bodies to fill four or more teams.
Reform is needed and well overdue to keep the standard high in this modern society.