THE Western Waves will open their Victorian Country Cricket League (VCCL) under 21 title defence with a fresh-faced squad.
Just four cricketers from the team which thrashed Barwon Rockets in the 2011-12 grand final will play South East Country Sharks at Terang on Sunday.
They are captain Cameron Williams, Nick Butters, Will Chapples and Daniel Jones.
Vice-captain Will Collins, twins Bradley and Nathan Alexander, Jacob McKinnon, Tyler Schaffer, Rhys Crow, Michael Lambevski and Luke Merryful complete the squad. Schaffer and Merryful have earned selection despite still being eligible for under 18s.
Williams, a Nestles cricketer, said the Waves were keen to defend their title.
“We’re not giving up Sundays just to lose,” he said.
He said the squad had depth with bat and ball.
“By the looks of things, all of us can hold a bat and I’ve got a heap of bowling options,” Williams said.
“One expensive over we can throw the ball to anyone and I can put faith in them.
“We go in quietly confident but we’re not getting our hopes up too high.”
Williams said winning the VCCL under 21 crown last summer was a great experience for the cricketers involved.
“All we want to do is work as a team because we haven’t played with each other before — and go back-to-back, to be quite honest,” he said.
“We went really well last year and had a heap of fun and played some decent cricket, which is what we wanted.
“It’s a step up from our club level. It’s the best under 21s of the Western Waves region, which in itself is a good achievement.”
The VCCL under 21 competition features Cricket Victoria’s eight regions and uses a knockout format.
Semi-finals are on November 11 and the grand final will be played on November 25.
A VCCL under 21 women’s competition is in the pipeline but will not become a reality until season 2013-14 at the earliest.