Bumper sum­mer

Big cricket sea­son ahead after early road­blocks

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport - CRICKET CRICKET

DE­SPITE en­coun­ter­ing a cou­ple of sig­nif­i­cant stum­bling blocks in the lead up, Wan­garatta and District Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Justin Trif­fitt is look­ing for­ward to an ac­tion packed sum­mer.

The WDCA’s A grade com­pe­ti­tion has been re­duced by two teams, from 11 down to nine, fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Corowa to Cricket Al­bury Wodonga and the merger be­tween Be­nalla Bushrangers and Be­nalla Vi­o­let Town United.

“That def­i­nitely made things tricky go­ing into this sea­son,” Trif­fitt said.

“With Corowa’s move, we would have liked them to have stayed, but there is no an­i­mos­ity there – we had good dis­cus- sions with them be­fore­hand.

“And the merger was a bit of a last minute thing.

“Be­nalla Vi­o­let Town United was on the verge of col­laps­ing, so a merger was the best so­lu­tion for them.

“So we’ve had a few chal­lenges, but the pos­i­tives have out­weighed

ROVERS United Bruck has landed a ma­jor re­cruit ahead of the up­com­ing Wan­garatta and District Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion sea­son, sign­ing tow­er­ing English spin­ner Joe Thomas.

Thomas, who mea­sures in at 6’7”, is a left arm ortho­dox spin­ner and al­ready has plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt at the age of 21.

Ris­ing through the ranks at home club Great & Lit­tle Tew CC in the Home Coun­ties Premier Cricket League, Thomas en­joyed his best sea­son play­ing first XI in 2017, fin­ish­ing with 37 wick­ets at 14.22, with a strike rate of 29.19.

He also played in the Mi­nor Coun­ties Cricket Cham­pi­onship with Ox­ford­shire and has taken the wicket of New Zealand Test bats­man Jeet Raval.

Con­tin­ued page 35 def­i­nitely neg­a­tives.”

Among the pos­i­tives has been the rein­tro­duc­tion of the A re­serve grade for this sea­son.

“We ended up with 16 teams in B grade last sea­son play­ing in two con­fer­ences,” Trif­fitt said.

“The pow­er­house clubs the had two teams and they were play­ing against one an­other in the fi­nals, so we wanted to get away from that.

“By bring­ing back A re­serve we can have a more even com­pe­ti­tion at ev­ery grade, and it also gives us a stronger path­way to­wards A grade cricket for the play­ers com­ing up through the ranks.”

WICKET TAKER: Joe Thomas (far right) cel­e­brates a wicket back home in Eng­land play­ing for Great & Lit­tle Tew CC.

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