BALLARAT Cricket Association president David Nichols is dreaming big.
Nichols is setting the bar high for Ballarat’s elite cricketers to make a sharp rise to the top of the Melbourne Country Week tournament by 2016-17.
Ballarat slipped from the provincial grade to division two following a winless carnival last year.
“I said to the guys the other day that my vision is to be division one premiers in the next three seasons,” Nichols said.
“If you have got a vision and put a plan together on how to achieve it, you should be able to achieve it.”
Nichols said it was important Ballarat made a quick resurgence to consolidate its brand.
“If we want to be a strong, viable competition and a competition that wants to attract the Melbourne Renegades, Victorian Premier Cricket and all sorts of things, we’ve got to have those ambitions and those ambitions have got to come to fruition,” he said.
The experienced Bobby Hind will captain Ballarat into the second major lead-up game to Melbourne Country Week when the team takes on Maryborough in the Kenmac Shield on Sunday.
Ballarat won its opening game of the competition against Castlemaine, meaning victory this weekend will ensure its stranglehold on the title continues for another season.
Sunday’s clash will be played on the new turf wicket at Beaufort.
Ballarat will then take on Bendigo in the annual Turner-Hollioake Shield – played across a range of grades from under-12 to seniors – on February 2 before Melbourne Country Week begins on February 17. There, Ballarat has drawn to play Benalla, Ferntree Gully, Traralgon and Warrnambool in the preliminary matches.
Sunday, Beaufort, 10.30am
Cole Roscholler (Wendouree)
Les Sandwith (Mt Clear)
Bobby Hind (North Ballarat)
Ryan Knowles (Brown Hill)
Jarrod Burns (Mt Clear)
Jason Knowles (Brown Hill)
Dan White (Golden Point)
Liam Rigby (Napoleons-Sebastopol)
Jason Crosbie (North Ballarat)
Andy Warrick (Golden Point)
Carman Mahapatuna (Napoleons-Sebastopol)