Horsham Cricket Association teams will play their first ever twenty20 matches for league points this weekend, as A and B Grade action returns after the Christmas break.
This is the first of two weekends of twenty20 matches, with teams playing for half the usual league points for the next two weeks. C Grade cricket will return next week.
Horsham Cricket Association secretary Darren Chesterfield said the league was hoping the introduction of twenty20 would help freshen things up.
“Hopefully it encourages everyone to play twenty20 in the spirit of that format – big hitters taking advantage of the field restrictions and some free-hits after no-balls,” he said.
Chesterfield also said the shortened games would help ease players back into the cricket season after the four-week break. He said with temperatures of 36 degrees forecast on Saturday, players might be thankful for the shorter contest.
In another unique aspect of this round, all three A Grade games will be played at the same venue – Horsham City Oval – on Saturday.
Homers will face Jung Tigers at 1pm, Horsham Saints take on Rup-Minyip in a twilight match starting at 4pm, and Laharum and West Wimmera will play a portion of their match under lights at 7pm.
Jung captain Angus Adams said he was not sure what to expect of the twenty20 cricket and the fixture, but applauded the league for introducing a new format.
“I think everyone at the one venue on the same day is a good concept,” he said. “You don’t get to watch other games of cricket on a normal Saturday so it will be good to have that chance.
“I’m pretty excited about the twenty20. I’m glad the association has decided to let us try it. Not many of us have played it so it will all be a bit new and a bit foreign, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Adams said containing Homers’ big hitters at city oval would be a serious challenge. Rup-Minyip captain Travis Hair had similar concerns about slowing down the Horsham Saints.
"It will be tough because they have some really big hitters and guys who will probably go really well at twenty20,” Hair said.
“It will be interesting. Years ago we used to play representative twenty20 and it’s a totally different game than what we’re used to.”
Laharum captain Daniel Griffiths echoed Hair’s thoughts.
“In twenty20 anything can happen,” he said. “We’re pretty excited to play a different format and play under the lights at city oval.”