FOR the first time in its history, the Tamworth district cricket season will be abandoned without a grand final being scheduled.
The Tamworth District Cricket Association elected to abandon the remainder of the season, due to the advice given by Cricket Australia in relation to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
According to Cricket NSW's rules, the move means the sides already into the four senior grand finals will be awarded the premiership.
Meaning, Old Boys will be named first and second-grade premiers, while Bective-East and City United will claim the third and fourth grade titles.
Association president Ben Middlebrook said the decision was "likely to disappoint a lot of people".
"I'm gutted about it, to be honest," Middlebrook told the Leader.
"However, this decision has come from the sport's governing bodies and is in the best interest of everyone's health.
"If you go ahead, you run the risk of spreading the illness, which is something no one wants.
"So, while it might be a shame to cancel the remainder of the season, it is the right thing to do."
Middlebrook said the premiership titles will be awarded to the successful clubs at presentation nights in the future.
"If the decision had been made before the semi-finals we would have only named a minor premier," he said.
"Now we will just hand out those awards at the clubs presentation nights in the future.
"At this stage, Cricket Australia is advising all clubs and associations to hold off from hosting their presentation nights, just until the threat of Coronavirus has subsided somewhat.
"I'm sure everyone would have loved to have seen a really competitive grand final, but it is what it is unfortunately."
Middlebrook said he believed the only time something similar may have happened in the association's history may have been World War II.
"To be honest, it's pretty tough to put into words," he said.
"We're in pretty uncharted waters and as far as I know, nothing like this has ever happened in our association.
"The World Wars might have been the last time, but it is out of our hands."