Gunnedah captain Mitchell Swain has lambasted Armidale over the "very poor” decision to forfeit their War Veterans Cup opener at Gunnedah last Sunday.
Swain said it was “extremely disappointing” a town Armidale’s size was reduced to such a decision.
He said: “You can’t tell me there are not 11 blokes in a town that size that couldn’t play.
“It’s not good for cricket. It’s not good for cricket as a whole.”
He added: “If the shoe was on the other foot, as they say, I’m very confident Gunnedah would have fielded a side, regardless … It’s very ordinary, and we're not happy about it.”
Last week Swain spoke of Gunnedah’s excitement about the match, given what he described as the new-found pride in playing for the town’s first-grade rep side.
“We were very keen to play, very confident,” he said this week.
“We’d finally got 12 blokes who were very keen to play … Blokes were keen to play who haven’t been keen for a while.
“Again, we’re very disappointed we didn’t get an opportunity to play.”
Swain believes that every first-grade cricketer should aspire to play rep cricket.
“That’s where rep cricket needs to get to,” he said.
The sport required a thriving first-grade “representative scene”, he added.
“Although obviously the team forfeited on the weekend, we need to continue,” he said.
“We need to get stronger and not go the other way.”
Gunnedah District Cricket Association president Brad Gander learned Armidale had forfeited on Saturday.
He said: “It would have been good to get on the park. We were looking like fielding one of the strongest sides Gunnedah has fielded in a few years.”
Gunnedah’s next scheduled match is against Narrabri away on December 2.