Sport

Debate raging over Alberton

ALBERTON'S presence, now only partial, in the Ipswich Logan cricket association continues to cause headaches.

The Logan-based team withdrew from the Ipswich Logan Premier League recently because it could no longer field a side.

They had regularly forfeited since before Christmas and their removal led to a re-calculation of competition points.

It led Brothers stalwart David Richardson, who has been playing top grade cricket in Ipswich longer than just about anyone, to criticise the decision to let them into the competition in the first place, given Alberton's lack of depth and questionable commitment to the competition.

When rain washed out Monday night's scheduled T20 game between Swifts and Brothers, ending Swifts semi-finals aspirations, it prompted Swifts skipper Jared Lacey to weigh into the debate.

Alberton played their third grade side in the Ipswich Logan two and one-day competitions, with the firsts and seconds playing in the Gold Coast competition.

But rather than weaken those teams to enable them to still compete in Ipswich, they chose to pull out.

However, they have happily played their Gold Coast competition-based players in the Twenty20 competition.

"They should have been made to put some good players in there," Lacey said of Alberton's two-day side.

"It's just ridiculous they can forfeit the two-day competition and stuff everyone around, then play in the T20 comp."

Ipswich Logan president Peter Leschke defended Alberton's continued presence in the Twenty20 competition, in which they'll play Laidley in a semi-final on Monday.

"They're separate competitions," Leschke said.

"The reason we called it this way is in future years we may have teams in it that are not in the Premier competition.

"We're trying to target the T20 competition to be the tier below the Big Bash. So we want clubs to bring good players in."

It is little consolation for Lacey, who fails to see the justice in the situation, believing the club should pay for pulling out of the Premier League.

It has been an embarrassment but Leschke said the competition had paid the price for trying to expand and taking Alberton at their word.

"We took what they said to us on face value," Leschke said.

"We tried to grow the game but we didn't get the support from Alberton."

Leschke hopes the Ipswich competition can attract new clubs from Logan in future but concedes more will have to be done to ensure they don't fold like Alberton.

"We'll probably need further assurances," Leschke said.

If that means ensuring they have a lower grade team's support, club delegates will have to vote to decide.

In the other T20 semi-final, Central Districts play Northsiders on Monday, March 4.

All T20 games are at Mark Marsh Oval.

Topics:  cricket



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