BOOKAAR captain Fraser Lucas has urged South West Cricket officials to reconsider the timing of their Twenty20 tournament.
Lucas yesterday said the tournament was better suited to the start of the season, to allow cricketers to find form without the pressure of playing for points.
All 14 SWC clubs are involved in the two-day tournament, which got under way at Cobden last night.
Knockout matches continue today with semi-finals and the grand final tomorrow. The winner will represent SWC at the lucrative Sungold Cup.
Bookaar will play Ecklin at Cobden in its first match at 1pm today. But Lucas said he would have preferred to be playing the fixture in October.
“A lot of other sides I’ve had a chat to, they’re in the same boat. A lot of blokes go away (in January), you miss putting in your full-strength side,” he said.
“If they did it at the start of October, similar to Warrnambool, I think it’d be beneficial for everyone.
“Obviously you get a chance to get your full side together without the pressure of playing for points, you’re playing for the opportunity to play in the Sungold Cup.
“The way we do it is really good, over one weekend. But I think a lot of people would rather have this weekend off.”
Lucas said Bookaar would be without Merrett brothers Sylas and Tosh, all-rounder Simon Baker and batsman Matt Field for the weekend.
He said the side would feature a mix of division one and division two players, with an emphasis on giving young cricketers time at the crease.
“I look at this weekend as everybody having a bat and a bowl and getting back into the swing of things,” he said.
“Obviously we’re playing Ecklin. For a club like Ecklin, it’s be good to beat a division one side. As a division one side, you don’t want to allow that.
“That being said, if we lose, we lose. I’d prefer the boys get out and enjoy themselves and try and win without the pressure.”
SWC officials have scheduled matches at turf wicket ovals at Camperdown, Cobden and Terang. The grand final is at Terang, from 2pm tomorrow.
Noorat and Mortlake have a bye in the opening round, having played off in the Twenty20 final last season.
In other fixtures, Camperdown hosts Simpson at Camperdown and Terang plays Port Campbell at Terang. Pomborneit and Princetown travel for their clash at Cobden while Heytesbury Rebels take on Woorndoo at Terang.