A WARRNAMBOOL and District Cricket Association (WDCA) official believes an under 17s Twenty20 competition will boost interest in the sport at junior level.
WDCA director of junior cricket Gordon McLeod said the concept was appealing, for players and spectators alike.
“We have to make cricket interesting and one thing people talk about is Twenty20 cricket,” McLeod said.
“It is a fast game and is a smart game as well — the best outcome comes from sensible batting, picking the gaps in the field and hitting it over the top.
“It is an art to play Twenty20 cricket and we want to educate our players.”
McLeod said the under 17s Twenty20 competition would start in November, with the 11 teams split into three pools.
The Twenty20 competition will take in three rounds, with a grand final in January.
The games will be played on weeknights with the opposing clubs to allocate a suitable time within each round’s timeframe.
Twenty20 will also feature in the under 15s competition.
Twelve teams — split into east and west sections — make up the under 15s Wednesday night competition.
“They are playing the first two (rounds) as Twenty20 matches for premiership points and it’s the first time it has happened in the competition,” McLeod told The Standard.
Three Grassmere Cricket Association (GCA) teams have joined the WDCA’s under 13 competition, expanding it to 16 teams across its east and west pools.
McLeod said Yambuk, Wangoom and Panmure were the three new sides.
“From my point of view, it’s a really positive outcome that these kids are playing in their own age groups in a good standard of competition,” he said.
GCA president James Sinnott said his association’s decision to introduce an under 15s competition reduced the under 13s age group.
“We were intending on (having under 13s) but we restructured our under 16s back to under 15s and that gave us six sides in under 15s and left four sides in the under 13s competition,” he said.
“In the meantime, Hawkesdale pulled out last week in the under 13s and left us with three sides and that’s not ideal. They would be playing two weeks on and two weeks off.”
Sinnott said the WDCA approached him about GCA’s under 13s playing in that competition on Saturday and it was finalised on Monday.
“It was very positive and the three clubs involved were very open to the idea,” he said.
“It worked out well. It means the kids can play cricket every week.
“Our league has no under 13s ladder.
“This is slightly more competitive than we had it.
“I don’t see that as a bad thing.”
Sinnott said GCA would review its under 15s and the under 13s structure at the end of the season.
The WDCA under 17s competition starts on October 20, under 15s on October 17 and under 13s on October 19.
Its under 11s competition starts in mid-November and is played on Sunday mornings.
McLeod said West Warrnambool was seeking under 13 players and Merrivale had holes in its under 15 teams.