Ballarat batsmen chosen, pace neglected for Melbourne Country Week

THE top five batsmen in the competition will be part of Ballarat’s assault on Melbourne Country Week later this month.

But while the batting stocks appear strong, the association’s leading bowlers are unlikely to feature in the week-long carnival.

Former Australian quick and Brown Hill speedster Shane Harwood, reigning EJ Cleary Medallist Matt McMahon and Wendouree paceman Eamon Johnson are all missing from the attack.

Harwood, McMahon and Johnson have taken 87 wickets between them this season.

In fact, just one of the top 10 wicket-takers – Golden Point’s Daniel White – has been named in Ballarat’s 15-man squad.

Ballarat Cricket Association president David Nichols said selectors had focused on picking players that were available for the entire week of competition, with one eye to the future. On the plus side, Wendouree’s Cole Roscholler and Liam Brady, Naps-Sebas import Carman Mapatuna, Darley’s gun all-rounder Matt Cape and North Ballarat skipper Bobby Hind were among those named to play in the tournament.

This quintet is the BCA club firsts’ leading run-getters this season, with more than 2000 runs between them.

Seven clubs are represented in the squad, led by Golden Point, which has four players committing to the week. 

North Ballarat has three, Wendouree, Brown Hill and Napoleons-Sebastopol two each and Mt Clear and Darley one apiece.

There is no district presence in the Ballarat side.

Ballarat, which missed a final hit-out when the Turner-Hollioake Shield clash with Bendigo was cancelled on Sunday due to the heat, kicks off its 2014 Melbourne Country Week campaign with a clash against Benalla in Carlton on February 17.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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