Move from turf to hard wicket upsets East

EAST Ballarat remains furious over a decision to shift its club seconds’ clash with Napoleons-Sebastopol to a hard wicket on the eve of the Ballarat Cricket Association finals series.

Hawks’ senior cricket manager, Mark Simpson, told The Courier the club was disappointed not to be playing on turf and also with the lack of communication to its players following the venue change.

Simpson said East players only learned on Friday they would be playing at Sebastopol 2 and not Napoleons, where the game had originally been fixtured.

Aside from early-season rounds when grounds are under-prepared because of football, it is expected that turf pitches are used for club firsts and seconds matches.

Napoleons-Sebastopol president Barry Ringin said the match was moved because of the club’s women’s team hosting a semi final at home next Saturday, which falls on day two of the  club seconds clash.

Ringin said he told the BCA pennant committee the ground would be unavailable about two weeks ago.

Simpson said the club seconds game should have taken precedence over the women’s encounter.

“East absolutely believes that women’s cricket needs to be promoted in Ballarat. We are absolutely for women’s cricket in Ballarat, but on Saturdays it has been a first eleven or second eleven turf wicket for the whole year and women have used the wicket on Sunday. Why change so close to the end of the season?” Simpson said.

“Why change and why the lack of notification?”

Simpson and Ringin both conceded Don Jacobsson’s recent resignation as BCA secretary had put more strain on the league’s volunteers.

BCA pennant committee chairman David Dawson said while it was not an ideal situation, it was Naps-Sebas’ decision that forced the fixture to be moved to a hard wicket.

East has already secured first innings points from the two-day match, which continues this Saturday.

The Hawks are second on the ladder and assured of a finals berth.