For the second straight season there will be no War Veterans Cup, with the Northern Inland Cricket Council deciding to put the venerable competition on "hiatus" for another year before trying again in 2022-23 season.
A lack of interest scuppered the War Veterans Cup last season, but NICC president Ben Middlebrook said "uncertainty" surrounding COVID-19 resulted in its continued suspension.
However, he said a revamped Connolly Cup would start on November 14. The Central North colts side will make their debut in the competition.
That was in line, he added, with the prediction that NSW would have reached an 80-per-cent double-dose vaccination rate by then and community sport could resume.
Tamworth cricket is slated to commence on November 6.
Commenting on the War Veterans Cup, Middlebrook said: "There were a couple of [NICC] committee members who wanted to see if they could come up with a fixture list for it [this season], but that hasn't happened.
"So we're gonna put it on hold for 12 months, and hopefully in the next 12 months COVID will be just a 'thing' and we can move forward with what we hope to be normal proceedings."
Middlebrook is confident the War Veterans Cup will resume at some stage. "What format it takes, I'm not 100 per cent sure," he added.
"But I think there's definitely a place for it. We've just gotta figure that out between the associations ... so it works for all parties."
Middlebrook said players required a competition that was of a higher standard than the Connolly Cup so they had "better competition leading into those higher rep honours".
It will be a 10-team Connolly Cup this season, with it split into two pools featuring Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree, Walcha, Armidale, Quirindi, Gwydir, Inverell and Central North colts.
Middlebrook said the Central North under-18 side had been included in order to help them prepare for the Country Colts Championships in January.
"Obviously this season it's a one-off," he said. "But we're open to it being continuous if it helps them in their carnivals going forward."
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