TWO Warrnambool and District Cricket Association clubs will press for south-west cricket's richest prize this summer as a part of a major Twenty20 shake-up.
The Sungold Cup - a $15,000-to-the-winner knockout tournament held on Australia Day - will admit an extra WDCA outfit on the back of the Grassmere Cricket Association's demise.
It headlines a raft of changes to short-form cricket within the Warrnambool-based association.
Twenty20 cricket will no longer be played for premiership points, with an optional tournament now the favoured option.
Every club in the association - including those which play in division two - will be eligible to play.
The five teams in division two haven't really had the opportunity like this before.Gordon McLeod
It means Hawkesdale, Northern Raiders, Southern Titans, Spring Creek, Nirranda and Koroit can battle established division one sides in a bid to reach the Sungold Cup finals.
Warrnambool and District Cricket Association chairman Gordon McLeod said the shift had "full consent and support" from clubs.
He said the concept featured four pools of four teams, which all played each other in the group stage.
"The first one will be on a Thursday night in December," he said.
"Then there's a double-header on a Saturday - which will be the last Saturday before Christmas - which will give each club their three games.
"The top team in each of the four pools will then play semi-finals on the first weekend back after Christmas. That's when we have tick off from Warrnambool City Council that Reid Oval will be available."
McLeod said semi-finals would be played in the early afternoon while the grand final would take place under lights immediately afterwards. He expected the move to boost interest in the sport and felt it was a fairer system.
"We're saying it's voluntary - clubs have the choice if they wish to be involved in it," McLeod said.
"The five teams in division two haven't really had the opportunity like this before.
"We just felt it was a fairer system and had better involvement for clubs."
McLeod said the season would begin with one-dayers on October 9.
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