Barbarians depart Armidale's first grade cricket due to player drought

OUT: A first grade player shortage forced the Barbarians to withdraw from the top tier.
OUT: A first grade player shortage forced the Barbarians to withdraw from the top tier.

Armidale District Cricket’s first grade competition has been reduced to five teams after the Barbarians announced their departure.

A player shortage forced the Baa Baas to choose lower grade cricketers in their opening two games against Easts and Hillgrove.

You end up spending all season making guys play that aren't ready to be there.

Brad Rafferty

Firsts captain Brad Rafferty said it wasn’t fair to call upon players who weren’t ready to step up to the top tier. 

“It wasn't so much we didn't have the numbers but we didn't have the first grade players,” he said. 

“You end up spending all season making guys play that aren't ready to be there.

“Just do the best thing for everybody and pull it out for the year and see how we go next year.”

Rafferty said while it was disappointing, it means their second and third grade teams can thrive. 

“It is not the end of the world, it was just the best thing for everybody at the time,” he said. 

“A few of the boys are going to play second grade. Me personally, I am going to do a bit of fishing. 

“That's the most recent piece of sporting equipment I have bought. 

“Nobody is actually leaving. We will have plenty of numbers for the lower grades.”