Junior grades and programmes start this weekend and there will be a lot of excited boys and girls – and parents – looking forward to their first piece of cricket action. WK 5th grade once again has 10 teams taking part with games played on 16m mainly artificial pitches. Batters bat in pairs for 5 overs while bowlers have 2 or 3 overs each. Games are from 5-7pm on a Friday evening and we often see parents lighting BBQs on the warmer nights making for a good social atmosphere. There CRicket News: is also a girls only section to 5th grade with 3 teams contesting this summer.

WK 4th grade is mainly for year 7-8 players including one girls only team under the Renwick club. Games are 30 overs a side and played on Saturday mornings from 8.45am to 12pm. Year 9 and above generally move on to 3rd grade cricket played on Saturday afternoons also starting this Saturday.

For younger players we have Harcourts Kiwi Cricket played at Lansdowne Park on Saturday mornings from 9am to 10am. There is no need for protective equipment such as helmets or pads at this level as play is with plastic balls and bats. We have 8 teams in the boys section and 4 teams in the girls section this summer.

5-7 year olds looking to try cricket for the first time can sign up for one of our Smash Play programmes with 4 centres to choose from – Blenheim, Seddon, Renwick and Picton. Smash Play is a brand new programme developed by NZC and is part of a complete overhaul of our national junior pathway programmes taking place over the next 3 years. With fun games and an emphasis on strong values and learning through play this is a great option for all boys and girls and no knowledge or experience of cricket is required.

You do not need to rush out and purchase equipment of clothing if you are new to cricket. Everything is provided either by MCA or by the club you register for and we can advise on gear purchases in the future also.

There is still time to register for any of our junior programmes if you haven’t yet done so via the link on the Marlborough cricket website or by contacting Eden@marlboroughcricket.co.nz

A reminder also that we have our Churchill Private Hospital Women’s Social Cricket festival day this Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Please get in touch if you want to enter a team or you are looking for a team to play for. It should be a fun day!