REGIONAL cricket selectors have named Panmure batsman Chris Bant as captain of the Western Waves team of the year.
Bant compiled 750 runs at an average of 75 in home-and-away matches during a stellar season with the Grassmere Cricket Association club.
His tally, which included three consecutive centuries in January and February, was the best of any batsman across the Western Waves region.
Bant was one of two GCA cricketers in the squad. GCA cricketer of the year Steve Gleeson, of Yambuk, earned recogntion for his 529 runs at 105.80.
West Warrnambool’s Karl Turner was the other opener. The English import smashed 634 runs at 79.25, including an unbeaten double century.
Turner was the only Warrnambool and District Cricket Association inclusion, while South West Cricket supplied four players.
Mortlake all-rounder and SWC cricketer of the year Shane Slater earned a berth for making 608 runs and taking 28 wickets.
Pomborneit pair, captain Dave Murphy and recruit Coby Dudman, and Noorat skipper Wil Pomorin were also among the selected 12.
Waves selector Peter Russell said there were “heaps” of players on the fringe of winning selection.
“You’ve got to weigh up whether an aggregate is better than an average. It’s all based on statistics, more or less — who did well in each week,” he said.
“(The standard of the association) was taken completely out of it, whether it was in Warrnambool and District, South West or wherever.”
Russell acknowledged SWC players had more chances to make runs and take wickets due to playing solely one-day matches. He said there was much competition for the opening batsmen berths.
Wangoom’s Brett Tory was among those unlucky to miss selection.
“You can only nominate two openers and most of the openers are the ones that get all the runs,” Russell said.
“Some of those openers got more runs than three to six but we could only pick two openers and the others were eligible for the three to six spots.”
Selection criteria stipulated the squad must have 12 players — six batsmen, an all-rounder, a wicketkeeper and four bowlers, including one spinner.
Selection is based on runs, wickets, catches and stumpings in home-and-away matches.