Late last week, the announcement came from the SMCA that results from all Grand Finals were to be declared with Joint Premiers for all grades. Therefore our, 1st Grade, One Day A and E’s are Joint Premiers for Season 2019/20.
Yes, most feel a hollow way to end the season, but there had to be a decision made given the current health crisis.
Please see below statement from the SMCA President, Paul Speering;
So, how did the Committee arrive at this decision, you may ask. In some ways it was extremely difficult, and in others it was incredibly simple. There were five options discussed in various depths this week:
Carry over the Grand Finals until the start of season 2020/2021
Declare the entire season null and void and have no Premiers
Declare the Minor Premiers the Premiers
Declare the highest ranked Grand Finalist (i.e. the ‘home’ team) the Premiers
Declare both Grand Finalists as joint Premiers
The first option was briefly entertained and then dismissed. With such uncertainty around when the next season would start, and difficulties with player qualifications and ground availabilities, we knew deep down that this was just a pipe dream.
The second option would have been reasonable if the season was called off earlier, for example, around Christmas. But it wasn’t, and Clubs deserved recognition for the efforts they’d put in throughout the season. So, it was dismissed as well.
The third option was the first of the realistic ones and would have been the default position if the season had been called off prior to the semi-finals. Not all Minor Premiers had won through to the Grand Final anyway, so this was dismissed.
The fourth and fifth options were discussed at great length. The By-Laws offered some guidance but weren’t designed to handle a situation such as this. There was simply no precedent for calling matches off this far in advance, and in these circumstances. The Committee determined that the fairest and most reasonable option to take was to declare both Grand Finalists as Joint Premiers.
As the President of the SMCA, I fully understand and appreciate that not everybody will agree with this decision. It is not one that was taken lightly, and it wasn’t made to diminish the efforts of any teams in any grade whatsoever.
Season 2019/ 2020 will go down in history as one of the most memorable ever, and the SMCA want that to be for all the right reasons. We believe that despite the mass upheaval that we’ve already seen, and the seemingly endless nature of what we face, we can bring some light into the darkness that is circling.
I think it is safe to assume that I’m not the only one who feels a little bit lost with this abrupt end to our season. There will be no organised cricket on this weekend, there will no stories (however well embellished) of heroics, of excitement, or of unbridled joy. There will be no Premiership team photos with beer stained playing shirts to put up on the wall, and there will be no team songs sung ad nauseum until the neighbours call the cops.
But, we will find a way to endure, and before you even know it, Saturday afternoons will be spent chasing a little red ball around again, just so we can have an excuse to talk absolute nonsense with our mates for a few hours.