WARRNAMBOOL and District Cricket Association captain Brett Eldridge says his side will be treading a fine line when it faces rival Hamilton in a practice match tomorrow just 10 days before they meet again at Melbourne Country Week.
The WDCA will have a near full-strength side, minus wicketkeeper-batsman Cam Williams, who has training duties as captain of the Vic Country under 21 side.
Eldridge said the timing of the match was perfect in building momentum for his side but he was wary of giving away a crucial mental edge entering the associations’ division two match at Country Week.
It is the first time the WDCA has had a full-scale 50-over a side practice match against a rival so close to the tournament.
“The main thing to get out of it, where we have lacked a bit in the past, is that we haven’t had that team unity,” Eldridge said.
“It is an opportunity to get together as a group and play cricket together.”
But he said there would be no slacking off from his side, which has been training one night a week for more than a month on top of club commitments.
“Of course you want to win the game because every little edge will be important when you get down there to Melbourne,” he said.
“But it will give us an opportunity to look at guys in different situations and that may mean guys batting out of position.
“But by no means it won’t stop us winning the game.
“If the situation comes we need to win the game, we will do whatever we have to do to win the game.”
He believed the Hamilton District Cricket Association side would be missing a couple of regular players.
“You don’t want to show your full hand and you don’t want to give them any incentive we are not playing good cricket. It’s a fine line.”
Eldridge said the association’s cross-border cup encounter with Mount Gambier was traditionally an important warm-up for Country Week, but the timing of tomorrow’s game at Hamilton’s Melville Oval lifted the stakes.
“The way the dates fell, (the cross-border cup match) was a month ago. This way there is no gap,” Eldridge said.
“It gives you a bit more mateship and then with training next Wednesday, it builds momentum.”
Eldridge said Brierly-Christ Church batsman Mark Murphy, first emergency for the squad, would play tomorrow in Williams’ absence.
The game begins at 10.30am.