It’s exciting to see the increased national focus on Premier Cricket this season as Carlton Cricket Club (Victoria) on Wednesday were crowned inaugural Fox Cricket National Premier T20 Champions with a one-run win over University of Queensland at Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide.
The Fox Cricket National Premier T20 Championship saw the top 10 male Premier clubs from around the country compete over two days in the hope of being crowned the inaugural Fox Cricket National Premier T20 Champions. Preliminary matches between the 10 sides took place on Tuesday which saw Carlton (Victoria), Melville (WA), Sutherland (NSW) and University of QLD (QLD) advance through to the semi-final stage.
University of Queensland and Carlton both played some outstanding cricket in their respective semi-finals to advance through to the Grand Final.
Carlton were sent into bat, posting a competitive score of 8-154 (D Pell 43, J Carty 3-11)
Chasing 154 for victory, University of QLD captain Dom Michael (76) lead from the front. However tight bowing from the Blues in the final overs saw University fall one-run short as Carlton were crowned the inaugural Fox Cricket National Premier T20 Champions.
“It’s been a fantastic couple of days and the Fox Cricket National T20 Champs is phenomenal initiative. For Clubs around Australia to participate in an event you find out whether you're the best in the country and it gives guys the opportunity to be in front of selectors for higher honours and even some of the boys first trip away is almost like a professional cricket environment. It’s phenomenal for their development and this is the reward that you get for performing well.
Premier Cricket is where everything starts. It’s not just development of technique but its where your heart is. I know all the players that play first-class cricket and big bash love getting back to their clubs. To have an event to find out if you are the best in Australia is fantastic.”
Carlton Cricket Club Captain and Melbourne Stars all-rounder Evan Gulbis
The National Premier T20 Championship has played an important role in increasing the focus on Premier Cricket this season. A focus that is welcomed by the ACA and the players who have been investing in Premier cricket since the 2015-16 season.
2018-19 has been the fourth season the ACA and current players have invested into Premier Cricket through the ACA Premier Cricket Program; a program that is made possible thanks to the generous contribution from the current contracted players who have now contributed over $4 million into Premier Cricket.
The ACA Premier Cricket Program has seen a record number of past players engage in coaching, playing or mentoring roles in Premier Clubs across the country in 2018-19.
The ACA and the players look forward to continuing to work with Cricket Australia and the State Associations to strengthen Premier Cricket around the country.
“If you want to see performance at the highest level, it all starts at the grassroots level. The money that we (the current players) are investing in to Premier Cricket is Fantastic. Premier Cricket is where you go if you are out of form in the Shield side and the Shield side is where you go if you are out of form for the Test side. If you have a strong Premier competition you will have a strong Test Side.”
Carlton Cricket Club Captain and Melbourne Stars Allrounder Evan Gulbis