Big Bash a real possibility for Western Waves cricketers

Elite: Woodford's Liam Burgess has been named in the Western Waves under 18 squad and under new changes to junior pathways could come under the eyes of BBL sides. Picture: Morgan Hancock
Elite: Woodford's Liam Burgess has been named in the Western Waves under 18 squad and under new changes to junior pathways could come under the eyes of BBL sides. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Significant changes to cricket’s youth pathway system are set to benefit the south-west.

The changes announced by Cricket Victoria will see the traditional state championships renamed the Youth Premier League (YPL).

It’s a very obvious and direct line to the big bash competition, with contracts potentially rewarded on the basis of performance in the under 18 T20 competition.

Stephen Field

It will feature more games for all age groups, more T20 fixtures with the under 18 boys now totally a T20 competition.

Coach and talent specialist Stephen Field, who will act as administrator of the Western Waves’ south-west), Barwon and Central Highlands areas, said it was a big development  for cricket in the region.

“The change in name is to reflect a huge change in the state championship and a really exciting, fresh approach to the youth pathway system in the state,” Field said.

“It’s a very obvious and direct line to the big bash competition, with contracts potentially rewarded on the basis of performance in the under 18 T20 competition.

“There’s also enormous coaching opportunities for aspirational, high-quality coaches.

“More games for country based kids. As well as Incredible opportunities for motivated, talented players from within the region.”

Warrnambool will host the Renegades section of the first phase of the under 16 boys matches from December 17-19th December.

“It’s a big boost for the Western Waves region in terms of showcasing what we have to offer,” Field said.

“More importantly it means plenty of locals should be able to get along and support the Waves team.

“It’s also an ideal location at this time of the year with summer weather and plenty of opportunities for families and others to attend and enjoy the area.”

Players from the south-west in the Waves’ under 18 squad include: Tom Jackson, Liam Burgess, Damon Dews, Jackson Couch, Alex Jennings, Dominic Bandara, Nick Robertson, Oliver Noonan, Bailey Jenkinson (Warrnambool), Jordi Withers, Lachlan Kirk (Portland), Lachlan Field (Hamilton), Hamish Gleeson (Grassmere), Isaac Wareham (South West).