Cricket trend assessed
President Michael Neilson said a couple of major drivers of the rethink were to discourage movement of local players between clubs in the association while attracting players to the WDCA from other competitions.
A player points system applies to the top two of the five senior divisions.
Teams can have a maximum of two “international” players under the current rules.
Recruitment of international players has grown in Victorian country cricket, especially over the past decade, and Mr Neilson said the better of those players had been positive inclusions helping raise standards and guiding younger club mates.
He said the points system was initially introduced into the WDCA to restrict the amount of money some clubs spent on players but said there were “rumours” it appears to be becoming more prevalent and he had heard of payments of $7000 to $8000 per season to some.
Clubs are not required to disclose payments to the WDCA.
Mr Neilson said it was not always that the international players were the highest paid and few were “professional cricketers,” some are here on working or students visas and were looking for a game.
However, he added the association wanted more good players to come into the area.
One of the biggest challenges is addressing the dangers from the bigger clubs getting bigger and the smaller getting smaller.
Longwarry cricket club treasurer Noel Pullen is among a number of club officials concerned about that, stating that his club was only to field two teams this season compared to three last year because “about seven players had moved to other WDCA clubs”.
Longwarry’s highest rated team this year is in Division two - last season it had a team in Division one that “struggled” – and Mr Pullen believes not having a team at the top level was a strong factor in it losing its better players to play a higher standard with other association clubs.
“If a couple of your best players go elsewhere it has a snowball effect on the club with others moving to play in a more competitive team,” he added.
Mr Neilson concedes movements within the association of local players and effects that has on their “home” clubs was an issue the executive was looking at how best to address.
But he said it was also appreciated that keen younger players, in particular, might seek out the highest standard they could play at.
The player points system is administered through the WDCA by-laws 7 and 22.