Crick­eters is­sue a chal­lenge

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Horsham Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cials have chal­lenged young peo­ple in the re­gion to test them­selves men­tally as well as phys­i­cally by tak­ing up the game this sum­mer.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tony Wills said in the lead-up to open­ing round this Satur­day many young peo­ple aged be­tween 16 and 30 were rest­ing on their foot­ball lau­rels with­out know­ing if they were good enough to play any other sport.

“It’s no good telling ev­ery­one what you might be able to do – you need to get out there and show us,” he said.

“Peo­ple are so ded­i­cated to their foot­ball that they have for­got­ten about any­thing else.

“But his­tory tells that some peo­ple who aren’t so good at footy, and there are plenty of them, are some­times much bet­ter at cricket.

“Cricket has been one of the great lev­ellers for peo­ple play­ing sport in our re­gion for many years, of­ten rep­re­sent­ing a chance for peo­ple to get some­thing up on the foot­ballers.

“There’s a rea­son why many prom­i­nent foot­ballers shy away from play­ing cricket.

“It’s a dif­fer­ent skill set and not only in­volves nat­u­ral ath­letic abil­ity and eye-hand co-or­di­na­tion, but also test­ing your­self men­tally.”

Mr Wills urged any­one ‘sit­ting around twid­dling their thumbs, bored with an un­end­ing foot­ball training sched­ule’ and look­ing for a se­ri­ous sport­ing chal­lenge to get in­volved.

“Let’s be hon­est, footy is for footy sea­son and con­sid­er­ing where we are and the level of sport we play, footy clubs and their lead­ers get far too ahead of them­selves,” he said.

“They can think foot­ball is the only sport that mat­ters.

“There is a rea­son for sum­mer sports such as cricket and ten­nis, and the doors of cricket are wide open, for fe­males as well as males.”

A new-look Horsham com­pe­ti­tion will for the first time fea­ture West Wim­mera teams, in A and B grade com­pe­ti­tion.

The Horsham as­so­ci­a­tion has wel­comed a com­bined club, the rem­nants of a for­mer West Wim­mera com­pe­ti­tion, which will play home games at Nhill and Jeparit.

“There’s a few young blokes in the west keen to take on the estab­lished Horsham teams,” Mr Wills said.

“Hope­fully, if this works, West Wim­mera will be able to also en­ter a C Grade team in the near fu­ture.”

The West Wim­mera War­riors will play reign­ing pre­miers Homers in an A Grade opener at Nhill’s Davis Park on Satur­day.

In other games, La­harum meets Ru­pa­nyup-minyip at La­harum and Jung Tigers play Horsham Saints at Horsham Com­mu­nity Oval in Dim­boola Road.

In devel­op­ments this year, Black­heath-dim­boola has had suc­cess in its re­quest to shift from A Grade to B Grade and C Grade premier Quan­tong has stepped up to B Grade.

Mr Wills said as­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cials had been work­ing on var­i­ous as­pects of com­pe­ti­tion de­vel­op­ment for sev­eral months.

“We’ve been work­ing be­hind the scenes to gen­er­ate sup­port for ju­niors, um­pires, vol­un­teers and the game in gen­eral. But like al­ways, the sleep­ing bear of cricket only comes out of hi­ber­na­tion for most peo­ple in the first week of Oc­to­ber,” he said.

Mr Wills said ma­jor changes this year would in­clude bring­ing A Grade, as well as B Grade one-day games, back from 45 to 40 overs a side and re­duc­ing A Grade fi­nals from 100 overs to 75 overs a side to cor­re­spond with home-an­d­away con­di­tions.

B Grade two-day games would re­duce from 75 to 70 overs a game, car­ry­ing over into the fi­nals and C Grade games will con­tinue to be one-day fix­tures.

Mr Wills said the as­so­ci­a­tion would also bring a de­ci­sion-mak­ing process in­volv­ing an ex­cess-heat rule for­ward by a day.

“If the tem­per­a­ture is fore­cast to be 42 or above on the Satur­day, we will be mak­ing a de­ci­sion to call off play at 8am the day be­fore,” he said.

Mr Wills said de­tails about other by­law changes were avail­able on the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site, www.hor­sham­cricket.

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