PORTLAND and District Cricket Association is unlikely to contest the Western Waves Festival of Cricket in the near future.
The PDCA is one of three associations in the Waves’ region without representation at the Twenty20 tournament at Hamilton this weekend.
President Troy Warburton said there had been little support for Twenty20 cricket — both at representative and domestic level — from the playing ranks.
Warburton said the PDCA executive was insistent on listening to its clubs to ensure the future strength of cricket in and around Portland.
“It was put to all the clubs, we had a forum on the direction of cricket in mid-July with a fairly broad range of administrators and players,” he said.
“The players as a whole were generally not that keen about playing Twenty20 cricket. As an executive, we took that on board. And when we had our AGM it was still fairly clear they didn’t want to play Twenty20 cricket. The format probably struggles at our local level.
“It’d be great to have a squad that wanted to go and play it. But the general feeling was a lot of people would miss out on a game of cricket that weekend.
Warburton said the PDCA had sent understrength sides to the Festival of Cricket in the past.
“A lot of people looked at it and said ‘if there’s the chance I can have the weekend off, I’ll go away’.”
He said giving the dozens of other cricketers who would miss selection the chance to don the whites was more important.
“That’s taking nothing away from the Western Waves and the Festival of Cricket competition,” he said.
“We don’t want to send a lower-grade side away with the costs involved and the impact it has on your local brand of cricket.
“Do you give up a whole weekend so a dozen blokes can go and play cricket? We didn’t want to do that.
“We’re struggling for numbers a bit. The one thing we’re mindful of is not trying to push people into an uncomfortable situation.”
Mount Gambier and District and Grassmere are the other two associations not contesting the Festival of Cricket, which kicks off on Friday night.
Grassmere officials have vowed to send a side to the 2014 tournament, having added Twenty20 cricket to its fixture for the first time this season.
Warburton said Portland and District would play representative cricket in the form of Bendigo Country Week, where it is in division two.
The association also has junior sides contest Country Week competitions at Portland (under 13s), Horsham (under 15s) and Warrnambool (under 17s).