The proposed Latrobe Valley Cricket Association is one step closer to formation after the Central Gippsland Cricket Association and five breakaway clubs from the Traralgon and District Cricket Association met last night and voted to merge.
Representatives of the 12 CGCA clubs and TDCA clubs Churchill, Centrals, MTY Raiders, CATS and Traralgon West unanimously passed a motion to proceed with establishing the LVCA.
All 17 clubs are now foundation members of the LVCA.
CGCA president Wayne Mills said all parties present at last night’s meeting were "pulling in the same direction".
"I think everyone that was on the [Latrobe Valley Cricket] Review Committee will be pretty well vindicated that they've gone the right way for the future of cricket in the Valley," Mills said.
The review committee was formed last year with representatives of the two leagues to investigate a merger before ultimately recommending to go ahead.
Two LVCA sub-committees were also formed at the meeting.
The governance sub-committee, which will determine the administrative requirements of the new league, is made up of Trafalgar president Rod Cheatley, CGCA treasurer Michael Walshe, Centrals representative Brad Howlett and CATS president Peter Duncan.
The other sub-committee, which will determine the competition structure, includes Latrobe Valley Cricket Review Committee members Tim Darby, Dean Burridge and Graham Harvey and CGCA Umpires Association representative Colin Walker.
Latrobe Valley Cricket Review Committee spokesman Tim Darby said the sub-committees were formed to "get the ball rolling" for the inaugural LVCA annual general meeting on June 18.
"There will be an LVCA board elected at the inaugural AGM and the board will take the work these committees have done and continue from there," Darby said.
While "excited" by support shown by the 17 clubs in attendance at Monday's meeting, Darby said there were still boxes to tick before the vision of the cricket review committee can be realised.
"When we put this out there, we didn't do it without wholly believing in it, and it's nice to see that it has really gained some traction," he said.
"The intention was to bring together cricket across the Latrobe Valley, not divide it, and there is still some work to do to ensure that happens.
"When we went through this review process, part of what we were looking to do is be wholly inclusive in growing the game."
Darby said the review committee intended to create a "completely unified competition", inclusive of all CGCA and TDCA clubs.
"We are not trying to put roadblocks in the way of where the game needs to be ... we want the TDCA to be a part of this," he said.
"It's really important the TDCA as a whole, and the clubs that haven't been a part of the LVCA to date, understand they are absolutely welcome to be a part of this.
"It's really important they understand that at no stage will they be left behind and if they wish to reassess their position and come across they will be welcomed with open arms.
Darby said it was "highly likely" that Glengarry, who are yet to officially decide their position on the LVCA, would join the new league.
"That leaves the TDCA with five clubs, which financially and competitively ,isn't ideal," he said.
Glengarry president Barry Little said the club "needed time to consider [its] position" before committing to the LVCA.
"We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago but didn't have enough attend so we decided to postpone it," he said.
"We've got to respect the views of all members and life members and it's a different take now that it's not a completely merged association.
"We will hold a meeting to decide our position on June 4 and all past players and members are welcome."
The Express sought comment from the TDCA.