COMPETITION powerhouse Mortlake will field two sides in the South West Cricket Twenty20 tournament.
The Cats, buoyed by strong interest in the short-form competition, have given themselves a double chance to claim the association title next weekend.
SWC officials have released the draw for the annual tournament at Terang, Camperdown and Cobden on Saturday and Sunday.
The winner earns the chance to line up in the inter-association Sungold Cup in Warrnambool over the Australia Day long weekend.
A second Mortlake team comes on the back of division two pacesetter Ecklin pulling out of the tournament. Woorndoo also will not field a team, meaning there will be 13 teams from 12 clubs chasing short-form glory.
Mortlake captain Todd Lamont said strong depth at the club sparked inquiries about the Cats fielding a second team.
He called on the club’s top players to make themselves available.
Lamont said the Mortlake first XI would have a strong chance to take the crown.
The Cats had strong representation in the SWC squads which contested the Western Waves Festival of Cricket at Hamilton in December.
But the limited amount of Twenty20 cricket in the season meant there were no guarantees for the pre-tournament favourites.
“Everyone on the team hits the ball well, there’s no doubt about that,” Lamont said. “The first nine batsmen we could easily reverse the order and there wouldn’t be any issues.
“It’s more fielding — we can get lethargic in the field and go to sleep a bit. Twenty20 can wake you up a bit.”
Lamont said he supported Twenty20 cricket, but urged officials to keep it separate from the regular season.
He called for the SWC Twenty20 tournament to go ahead midweek, which would free up more weekends for regular-season rounds.