Cricket trend as­sessed

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

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.

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