Cricketers issue a challenge
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. org.au.