IT is something that was a dream two years ago, but the inaugural Western Victoria Girls Cup will be contested this week across Under-13 and Under-17 divisions.
It is the first representative country week carnival for girls in the state and it is something the Hamilton and District Cricket Association (HDCA) has been working on for a while.
HDCA president, Lloyd Ilett said 12-15 months worth of planning has helped the idea come to fruition.
“The moment we started developing our junior girls competition in the association, the idea of a country week representative carnival took hold and after three years of our competition, we decided it was time to put the feelers out there and see if other associations were keen,” he said.
“Girls cricket is the fastest growing demographic within the sport and it is something we are proud to support.”
Once the association knew it was onto something, word was then circulated through the regions to gauge the interest from other associations.
“We decided we would utilise the Cricket Victoria region managers to get the word out to all the different associations and with the help of Tony Caccaviello, we were able to get a number of teams involved,” Ilett said.
“We initially had six teams in each grade, but now it is down to four in Under-17s and five in Under-13s, Ballarat and Horsham have withdrawn.
“For an inaugural carnival, we have teams coming from Geelong, Colac and as far north as Sunraysia which is just outstanding, we are very happy to see these associations place as much importance as we do
“Grassmere and Warrnambool associations will also be involved.”
One thing the association will not need to worry about is ground availability with a big range of grounds being utilised across the three-day carnival which started yesterday.
“All Under-17 games will be played on turf, the under-13s will be played on a smaller ground will be used on harder wickets, because then turf wickets won’t be damaged by playing on a shorter wicket; Clem Young, Melville and Monivae will all be used.”
With future scheduling yet to be confirmed, Ilett said it is definitely something the association is confident will continue.
“It will be held in January each year, we will look at if the third week is ideal, but we will look at other weeks and see which is more appropriate,” he said.
Both divisions will be Twenty-20 with the Under-13 games played at Pedrina Park
Under-13 coach, Nicole Hunt said it was an exciting time for the team.
“We are just taking it as it comes and our aim is to start here and hopefully by the end of the week they can progress with the girls having fun and have some healthy competition,” she said.
“We will be rotating the girls through to make sure they get a turn at batting and bowling throughout the week.
“Not only do they get to improve their cricket skills but also learning to put themselves out there and getting to know other people.”
Emily Pitts is part of the HDCA’s Under-17 team and
“Pretty keen to be apart of country week, the girls are all looking forward to it and not just to play but just having fun with each other,” she said.
“It is not something that happens very often, so we are all excited.
“I am just hoping to improve my run rate through the week I think.”
With the inaugural carnival underway, Ilett is already eyeing off expansion for the future.
“If not next year, then the year after we are hoping to have an Under-15 competition as well,” he said.
Sunraysia v Colac (10am PP3)
Warrnambool v Hamilton (10am KFC Oval)
Grassmere – bye (10am)
Hamilton v Sunraysia (1.30pm KFC Oval)
Grassmere v Colac (1.30pm PP3)
Warrnambool – bye (1.30pm)_
Warrnambool v Colac (10am Monivae)
Geelong v Hamilton (10am Melville Oval)
Hamilton v Colac (1.30pm Melville Oval)
Warrnambool v Geelong (1.30pm Monivae)
Hamilton v Warrnambool (5pm Melville Oval)
Sunraysia v Warrnambool (10am PP3)
Hamilton v Grassmere (10am KFC Oval)
Colac – bye (10am)
GF2 (1.30pm PP3)
GF1 (1.30pm KFC Oval)
GF2 (10am Monivae) GF1 (11am Melville Oval)