Warrnambool and District Cricket Association releases fixtures for 2017-18 season

PARTY TIME: Woodford players celebrating the last wicket which gave them the 2016-17 division one premiership. Picture: Morgan Hancock
PARTY TIME: Woodford players celebrating the last wicket which gave them the 2016-17 division one premiership. Picture: Morgan Hancock

SHORT-FORM cricket has once again been green-lighted to launch Warrnambool’s summer of sport as executives work to strengthen the sport’s position.

The Warrnambool and District Cricket Association is set to keep the same fixture model from last season, with Twenty20 cricket kick-starting the summer before one-day matches arrive in late October.

Two-day fixtures will maintain a post-Christmas timeslot.

Warrnambool and District Cricket Association chairman Gordon McLeod said a “tight” competition last season encouraged the executive to stick with the format.

“Some teams were better in the two-day competition, and some picked up points earlier in the season,” McLeod said.

“Towards the end of the season, too, there were lots of sides still trying to get into the top four.”

McLeod said the fixture allowed each club to play each other across either Twenty20, one-day or two-day formats.

The second-year chairman said development of junior cricket was the key to more growth in the sport.

“Clubs like West Warrnambool and East Warrnambool both have under 17 sides this season after an absence last year,” McLeod said.

“It seems that there is considerable depth around in the junior competitions.

“We normally like clubs to have three teams so that juniors are able to have a go at senior cricket. What we’ve got to do is allow juniors to experience senior cricket.”

McLeod was also buoyant about the prospects for female cricket, with widespread interest sweeping the association.

“It’s big because there are an entirely new group of people who are going to join those clubs in a playing capacity,” he said.

“We’re going to have a bit of a coaching day down at Active Sportz, the indoor centre, for all girls interested in playing the sport.

The division one season is expected to begin on October 7, while division two kicks off on October 14.

Division three fixtures will be released next week.

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