Long-form cricket this summer’s hottest new accessory in DDCA

Whites are back in fashion this summer as two-day cricket returns to the DDCA 307627 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Marcus Uhe and Jonty Ralphsmith

Two-day cricket returns to the DDCA in the upcoming 2023-24 season, including for finals, for the first time since before the pandemic forced a premature end to the 2019-20 season.

Each side in Turf 1, 2, and 3 will play seven one-day and seven two-day matches across the 14-round home-and-away season, with one match against each opponent in each format, beginning on Saturday 7 October.

Two-day cricket was slated to return last season, however wet weather in the opening rounds of the season forced alterations to the remainder of the fixture.

Eight rounds will be played before a Christmas break between 17 December and 5 January, with six to be completed upon the resumption.

Two rounds (three and 13) will see two days of cricket played across both days of those weekends.

Finals will begin in March, with round 14 scheduled for the final weekend in February, however dates for finals fixtures are yet to be determined.

In Turf 1, Springvale South and Buckley Ridges will renew hostilities in a grand final rematch in round one at Alex Nelson Reserve in a tricky opening month for each of the last year’s top four, who all play one-another once in the first four rounds.

As a result, the non-finalists in last year’s competition will also play one-another in the opening month, giving the lesser-ranked sides a chance of banking early wins to start the year, and build momentum.

Newcomers to the top flight, Beaconsfield, face Berwick in the traditional ‘Battle of the Creek’ in round two, before a brutal first two-day contest in round three against Buckley Ridges.

Meanwhile, there will be excitement about Dandenong West’s first game back in Turf 2 as the Bulls will face off against Heinz Southern Districts (HSD).

HSD made the semi finals last season and will again be a threat in 2023-24, while Dandy West have strong top-end and have recruited well.

A new look Cranbourne’s first match since its grand final defeat last season will be against Lyndale, before games against Narre Warren and Parkmore.

Parkmore, relegated to Turf 2, and Doveton, down to Turf 3, will be favoured to win their first matches, against Keysborough and Silverton respectively.

One-day rounds: 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14.

Two-day rounds: 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13.