Cricket fever has taken over Barooga Recreation Reserve. Cricket Victoria’s under-17 and under-19 representatives are playing in a Country v Metro series this week, before the Gorrel Cup — Riverina Cricket Zone’s premier under-17 cricket carnival — takes the field next week.By Jessica Grimble
Cricket fever has taken over Barooga Recreation Reserve.
Cricket Victoria’s under-17 and under-19 representatives are playing in a Country v Metro series this week, before the Gorrel Cup — Riverina Cricket Zone’s premier under-17 cricket carnival — takes the field next week.
Barooga Sports Club promotions manager Mick O’Dwyer said a strong relationship with Cricket Victoria and Cricket NSW — along with the availability of two grounds and quality facilities — helped bring events to the area.
‘‘We have hosted pre-season games for Cricket Victoria Premier grade clubs, one-day Premier grade fixtures and of late the Big Bash concept,’’ Mr O’Dwyer said.
‘‘This, along with our continued hosting of School Sport Australia Primary School and Secondary School Championships, has given us great exposure to our facilities and in turn has now given us the opportunity to further enhance our partnership with Cricket Victoria.
‘‘Cricket Victoria have indicated they see our facilities as an ideal training and playing option — particularly in the pre-season — to the larger regional centres including Melbourne.
‘‘Our long-term aim has always been to get first-class cricket fixtures to this venue.’’
Mr O’Dwyer said 70 people had travelled to Barooga this week and the same number would boost the town next week.
‘‘Many of these boys have their families here to watch them play at this elite under-17 and under-19 level,’’ he said about the Cricket Victoria series.
‘‘Economically they spend in the towns to eat, clothing, accommodation, petrol and other things.
‘‘But the hidden value is the exposure to our towns and the opportunity to get return visits from families associated with an event like this.’’
Cricket Victory Academy high-performance manager Tim McCaskill said a pilot program to bring players to Barooga last year had brought many benefits and it was ‘‘an easy decision’’ to return.
‘‘This enables us to take our players out of their own environments for a week and see how they manage themselves,’’ Mr McCaskill said.
Dylan Grandall, formerly of Numurkah and Waaia, and Shepparton’s Tyler Larkin are the local players involved — both playing in the under-19s.
Teams played a Twenty20 match on Monday before 50 overs yesterday. Today is a 40-over day, tomorrow 80 overs and Friday 40 overs.
‘‘Our under-17s were national champions last year and a really important part of their preparation was being in Barooga,’’ Mr McCaskill said.
This week is part of the selection process for the national championships in the summer.
Next week’s Gorrel Cup, in its 19th year, will travel to Barooga for the fourth time.
The three-day carnival will start on Monday. The carnival winner will be decided by the team with the most wins or, if teams are on equal wins, the winner will be decided on quotient.
Last season was the first time that no final was held, which saw Murray defeat Northern Riverina on quotient after both sides had recorded two wins and a loss.
The carnival hosts Southern Riverina and Murrumbidgee, Murray and Northern Riverina as the four competing cricket councils.
The Gorrel Cup was presented to Riverina Cricket Zone by long-standing Riverina administrator Graham Gorrel from Wagga. Gorrel is a former chairman of the zone and represented Riverina on the Country Cricket committee of management.
At the conclusion of the carnival, selectors will announce the Riverina team to compete in the NSW under-17 carnival at Raymond Terrace from October 25 to 27.
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