NINE different clubs are represented in Ballarat Cricket Association’s Melbourne Country Week squad.
A total of 16 players have been picked by selectors for the week-long carnival, which begins on Monday.
Dunnstown’s dual Bernie Davey, Award winner Paul Phillips and Buninyong all-rounder Liam Rigby ensure a district presence in the side, which will be captained by Mt Clear’s Matt Goonan.
Darley captain-coach Matt Cape is vice-captain, with Mountie Matt Ward to take the wicket-keeping duties in the absence of Wendouree’s Heath Pyke, who is only expected to play one day of the tournament.
Pyke, the chairman of selectors, said the BCA was keen on improving on its recent efforts in the provincial division, including its fifth placing last year.
“You go there to win the carnival. That’s the reason you turn up. You don’t just turn up to make up numbers,” Pyke said.
“We think we’ve picked a very balanced team and we think we have picked a flexible team, which for one-day cricket you have to be.”
Pyke said there was the option of bringing players in and out of the squad during the week.
Ballarat will begin the tournament with a clash against division two winner from last season, South West, in Geelong on Monday. The team is then scheduled to take on rivals from Sale-Maffra, Leongatha and Mornington Peninsula.
The association held a special launch at Alexandria on Lydiard last night where players were presented with their caps.
Matt Goonan (c) (Mt Clear), Jason Knowles (Brown Hill), Ryan Knowles (Brown Hill), Matt Cape (vc) (Darley), Peter Moore (Darley), David Ellis (Wendouree), Tristan Dixon (Wendouree), Nic Baird (Mt Clear), Paul Phillips (Dunnstown), Liam Rigby (Buninyong), Andrew Warrick (Golden Point), Matt Ward (Mt Clear), Jason Crosbie (North Ballarat), Heath Pyke (Wendouree), Lincoln Blake (Mt Clear), Tyler Dittloff (Naps-Sebas).