The 2018-19 Premier 1 cricket season has come to an abrupt end as plans for either a red ball or Twenty20 competition to finish off the final month of games have fallen through.

It is understood Property Brokers United and Watson's Tech were lacking the numbers for full Premier 1 squads, with players departing back to university or not interested in another Twenty20 competition.

Wanganui Vet Services Marist and the Whanganui Collegiate 1st XI had the numbers to carry on.

"We've just called it, as there's not enough to start it," said John McIlraith, the Marist representative on Cricket Wanganui's Council of Clubs.

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The loss of red ball club cricket this summer follows on from 2017-18 where a Long Format competition was held but riddled by defaults as the Marton Saracens only played the opening game, while Tech also defaulted a match.

The Saracens Premier 1 side has been on hiatus this summer after being short of a full squad.

Premier 2 cricket will carry on until March 23, which will be followed the season prizegiving that evening.

McIlraith said they will have to look at the layout of the various competitions for next season.

In the summers before the 50-over Bullocks Coastal Challenge Cup inter-association competition started, red ball cricket was played on the opening weeks of the summer, acting as warmup for the Air Chathams Wanganui players who would also be playing Furlong Cup representative cricket.

"It would be nice if Coastal could go the whole season, because it's the pinnacle comp," said McIlraith.

"But do you sacrifice red ball for Coastal? It's not going to be a win-win situation for everyone."

Neighbours Horowhenua-Kapiti fit their red ball cricket – which is played with a two day format on Saturday's sometimes separated by three weeks – around their other Twenty20 and 50-over games, the latter of which are often played midweek.

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The February-March window for games had shrunk this summer as the Coastal Challenge was expanded with the inclusion of two Wairarapa clubs – United CC and Red Star – starting on the October 13-20 weekends and finishing with Marist defeating Horowhenua-Kapiti's Paraparaumu in the final last Saturday.

Plans at the start of the season were the Cricket Wanganui clubs would then play their long format version of one day cricket, with a red ball and wearing traditional whites, but this was later changed to another prospective Twenty20 competition with all remaining players.

Wanganui United retained the regular Bullocks Premier 1 T20 title after winning the final on February 17, in a competition which was played on the weekends when the Wanganui players have representative fixtures.

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Meanwhile, Wanganui's Ben Smith returned to brilliant batting form for the Central Districts A side as they picked up a ten wicket win over Wellington A at Palmerston North's Fitzherbert Park this week.

The skipper Smith anchored his team with 186 not out in the second innings, facing 306 balls, as CD raised 404-7 declared after bowling Wellington out for 203.

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Wellington then made 271, leaving CD with 73 required for victory, and Smith swiftly hit 54 not out off 42 balls with nine boundaries.

Air Chathams Wanganui team mate Akash Gill also played, making nine in the second innings and bowling with figures of 0-33 from eight overs in the third.

Ben Smith
Ben Smith