An exciting year of cricket is planned for Maitland with a new girls' competition on Friday night, a men's midweek twilight competition and a Women's Social League also being planned.
Cricket NSW Hunter cricket manager Gary Fisher said exciting innovations and new competition were all about making cricket more accessible and enjoyable for all ages and both sexes.
The year will kick off with a Cricket Expo at Robins Oval on Tuesday, September 3, with members of the Sydney Sixers to help with the launch and local clubs involved in the afternoon showcase.
Sydney Sixers players Lauren Cheatle from the WBBL and Daniel Hughes, Jack Edwards and Harry Conway to take part in the Maitland event.
"There will be fun cricket related activities for children, the Sydney Sixers players on hand as well as the Sixers merchandise/membership tent will be in operation and clubs will be invited to join in to promote their club offerings for the upcoming season," Fisher said.
"Cricket NSW will also have an information marquee available for parents, players to make inquiries regarding cricket related formats.
Fisher said the WBBL would be a stand alone competition this year and will launch the cricket season this year starting games in early October almost as soon as NRL and AFL competitions finish.
He said the Sixers Girls Cricket League would start at the same time to capitalise on the impetus and excitement of the WBBL
"For the first time a Sixers Girls Cricket League will be held in Maitland on Friday evenings and all junior clubs have been encouraged to enter a team into this league," Fisher said.
"These matches are played on a modified format over a shorter time with rules to ensure maximum engagement and participation by every player.
"A Women's Social League will also be trialled this year and we are currently asking clubs to engage mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters etc. of players to participate in this fun-filled format of the game."
There will also be a number of other innovations during the year including Friday night fixtures held in the regular junior competition.
"We're particularly looking in the 16s age group, but clubs have been encouraged to offer timeslot and opportunity to other age groups."
"I am currently working with the senior association to look at potentially a twilight competition for the men's as well in a T20 format."
Junior and senior cricket registrations are now open with all junior registrations this year online to make it easier and more convenient for players.