TOP-GRADE Warrnambool and district cricket will not feature on turf wickets until November.
Warrnambool and District Cricket Association yesterday confirmed three one-day rounds to start the division one season would be played on hard-wicket ovals.
The move, which will give curators extra time to prepare pitches, means the opening three rounds of the division two season will be on Sundays.
Officials have released the draws for division one and two of the 2012-13 season and will finalise the division three draw later this week.
WDCA general manager Andrew Sloane said he hoped the decision to play on hard wickets in October would ensure better turf pitches later in the season.
“We call ourselves a turf competition and we want as many games as possible on turf wickets,” he said.
“But we have to understand the pressures on curators to make sure they have suitable decks available.
“That’s one of the things the clubs are battling at the moment — the elements,” he said.
“Fortunately today we’ve got some sunshine that’ll help the new grass come through.” The 2012-13 season will start on October 13.
There are 11 home-and-away rounds, four of which are one-day rounds, and the grand final is scheduled for March 16 and 23.
The WDCA has also scheduled a stand-alone match on Sunday, November 18, when Russells Creek and Woodford will contest the Forever Young shield.
The shield honours the memory of six people, including cricketer Sean Doran, who died in a car crash at Penshurst in November, 2011.
Doran had played all his cricket at Creek before transferring to the Eels for the 2010-11 season, but never got the chance to represent his new club.
The Forever Young match starts off round seven, a one-day round which will wrap up on January 5 with the other five top-grade matches. “Last time it was the first time we had it. It was in January, the first round back,” Sloane said. “If we get spectators to the cricket, fantastic. We’d love people to attend and mark that anniversary.
“But I think it holds a special place with those teams and the families concerned.
“While we’ll deliver some TAC (Transport Accident Commission) messages, we aren’t pushing any particular agendas. That’s not what it’s about.”