THE influence of Twenty20 cricket is spreading indoors.
As the domestic Twenty20 competition gains impressive television ratings, Warrnambool Indoor Cricket and Netball Centre is set to jump on the popularity of the short form. Centre owner/manager Norm Garner said the traditional eight-a-side indoor cricket competitions were set to become six-a-side when the new season started in a couple of weeks of time.
“I’m trying to jazz it up a bit,” he said.
“We are going to go six-a-side and make it a bit more fun. We are going to take a few things from Twenty20 and bring them inside.
“We will have a few targets around the nets and people will score extra runs if they can hit them.
“There are a few other little things — the front-foot no-ball, the batsman will get a free hit now.”
Garner said moving to six-a-side teams for both junior and senior grades would shorten matches and in turn hopefully increase participation.
“The games will be quicker, they will be 24 overs instead of 32. It takes about an hour-and-a-half now but it will be over in 50 to 55 minutes and that might make it easier for some people to commit to.”
He said the reduced numbers might make it easier for people to field teams.
Garner said the centre would not be able to accommodate the bowling machine facilities at the nearby Action centre, which closed last week. That centre also ran indoor soccer competitions.
Garner said his centre’s indoor soccer competitions were set to start a new season on March 5 with the indoor netball season starting on March 3 and 4. Junior cricket competitions start on February 14 and senior competitions in the first week of March.