THE top grade of South West Cricket will feature one-day matches in an effort to boost its chances at next year’s Melbourne Country Week.
Association officials have signed off for division one to feature 50-over matches during season 2012-13.
The 2011-12 top-grade season, won by Mortlake, featured a combination of one-day and two-day matches.
SWC secretary Grant Myers said the change would help clubs retain players who did not want to commit to consecutive weekends of cricket.
Myers said the new format could also help the association’s representative side hold its own at the annual best-of-the-bush tournament in Melbourne.
SWC won division two at Melbourne Country Week in February, earning promotion to the provincial grade.
It will take on highly-credentialed squads from Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, among others, which can draw players from more populated areas.
Country Week captain and Pomborneit batsman Steve Castle called for one-day matches in the top grade during a meeting about a month ago. A second meeting last week resolved that division one would feature 50-over, rather than 40-over matches.
“Once it became one-day cricket, Cobden was interested in going back up to division one,” Myers said. “From there we came back at this last meeting and had some rules set and they voted on those.”
Myers said the change would benefit the competition.
“A little bit of it is to set us up for Country Week, a little bit of it is to retain players,” he said.
Division one will feature the four finalists from last year — Mortlake, Noorat, Camperdown and Terang. Pomborneit, Bookaar, Boorcan, Heytesbury and Cobden make up the rest.
Division two has 11 teams while division three will feature 10. The SWC division one season starts on October 13,