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Pink ball to make a debut

PREMIER: Norths, who won the Division 1 title last season, will be back to defend their title when the new season starts this weekend.
PREMIER: Norths, who won the Division 1 title last season, will be back to defend their title when the new season starts this weekend. Shane Jones

CRICKET: Bundaberg Cricket will get its pink on when its season starts this weekend.

The pink ball, made famous by Australia in recent test matches in Adelaide, will make its debut in the Division 1 competition this season.

The decision was made by the BCA and new president John Howard, who will introduce the ball to the competition.

"Day night games will be played this year,” he said.

"We'll play with the pink and white balls this season.”

The introduction of pink balls is one of a couple of changes to the competition.

There will be more two-day cricket as well, which starts the season this Saturday at Kendalls Flat.

The first three games will be held in that format with Kendalls Flat to be used until Salter Oval is ready to be used in a couple of weeks.

"It will be unlimited overs and timed cricket,” Howard said.

"This allows teams to compete for outright wins.”

The sides from last year all return with The Waves, Brothers and new merged side Past Highs Combined Country looking to stop Norths who won last season.

"We'll have three divisions in seniors this year with 15 sides,” Howard said.

"Our junior numbers are increasing year-on-year and seniors are looking solid.”

There was almost a fifth side with Isis joining the top division.

"They are building nicely,” Howard said.

"It's not too far away from happening.”

Howard took over as president in the middle of the year after Noel Stitt declined to run again.

"I've been involved since the late 70s and early 80s,” he said.

"My focus is to not let cricket go backwards and continue the great job Noel did.

"One area of focus is on female participation, we need to be better at that and get girls involved.”

Howard said it would take a while before a women's competition was held on its own but it was a goal.

The association will also host the under-15 junior carnival again in January with the NewsMail Cup returning later this year.

The season starts on Saturday with all seniors playing in the three divisions.