WARRNAMBOOL and District Cricket Association has gone with a mix of youth and experience for its Western Waves Festival of Cricket squads.
The two sides were finalised last week and chairman of selectors Ray Drew said he expected both to perform well in Hamilton this weekend.
“We won the division one competition last year and finished runner-up in division two,” Drew said.
“The division two side finished runner-up to South West, but last year it (division two) was an under 21 competition.
“We have kept the division two side young and put in a couple of more experienced players in Geoff Williams and Paul Walker to guide the players.”
Drew said the division one side, led by Nestles top-order batsman Brett Eldridge, would also have a youth flavour with teenagers Tom Smith and Will Mills.
Drew said the Festival of Cricket, now in its sixth year, was a good indicator for the association’s future representative sides.
“It’s a look and see for Melbourne Country Week,” he said.
“Even though it’s Twenty20 format and very different to the 50-over games, it’s still a good indication.
“We had a practice match at Jetty Flat on the weekend and everything was looking good.”
Division one captain Eldridge said the side’s first match against South West would be a good barometer.
“We have played some exciting matches against them in the past, so it will be a good indication of how the rest of the weekend will play out,” he said.
“It’s a fairly young side and for many of the guys it will be their first time playing representative cricket so it will be exciting to see how they go.
“You need to have at least two wins to get through to the finals, so we will be keen to get it out of the way early, so we aren’t chasing our tails all day.”
Eldridge is enthusiastic about the younger members of the side.
“I’m looking forward to see how young Tom Smith and Will Mills go and I haven’t seen much of Shashan Silva this season. I know he played a big role last year,” he said. “This will be a good chance for the young guys to impresses for selection in other representative sides down the track … not just Melbourne Country Week, but for the Cross Border Cup over in Mount Gambier as well.”