Sport

Women’s cricket builds pace

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

ECHUCA women’s cricket team is on a mission to grow the game in the twin towns.

Led by coach Christy O’Brien, the Echuca Cricket Club A grade side is hosting a come-and-try day at the Victoria Park nets on Sunday from 11.30am.

The aim of the come-and-try day is to boost the numbers of the new competitive side at the Echuca CC, ahead of their inaugural Goulburn Murray Cricket women’s competition.

On Sunday the group will have a hit in the nets and a chat about the upcoming season, as well as assess numbers for the first weekend’s play, slated for October 13.

For the first time, the GMC has created a league solely for the development and competition of women in the area.

The new-look competition features seven teams, with the chance of an eighth being included in the coming weeks.

The three local sides are Echuca, Leitchville-Gunbower and Kyabram Fire Brigade. The other four are Shepparton United CC, Nathalia CC, Maiden Gully Marist CC, and West Bendigo CC.

Bamawm Lockington United CC are in the process of gaining enough regular players to enter a side together to make it an eight-team competition.

GMC board member Paul Colbert said he could not wait for the season to get under way.

‘‘It’s a seven-team competition as of now, with LG confirming this morning,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘BLUCC are still sourcing numbers, but with seven confirmed already there is a possibility of an eighth.

‘‘It’s been an amazing response, we were really hoping to get four in the first season and expand as we went.

‘‘So to say we’d have this many in the first season is amazing, is an understatement — we’re over the moon,’’ he said.

Colbert said the finer details were yet to be confirmed, but it would most likely be a six-week competition.

‘‘That would run until the 16th of December. All associations are working hard with their junior girls at the moment, which is great to see.

‘‘This competition will hopefully mean there is a place for these other girls who can’t play in Melbourne just yet, and who would otherwise be lost to the sport once they’re out of the junior ranks.

‘‘Everyone is on the same wavelength which is great. The big focus this year is on enjoyment and player retention, the standard will only increase in future years,’’ he said.