DUAL EJ Cleary medallist Matt Cape has been named captain of a Central Highlands cricket super team.
Central Highlands Region unveiled its 2013-14 team of the year on Monday, with the Darley all-rounder at the helm.
Cape, the reigning Ballarat Cricket Association best and fairest, said it was an unexpected honour.
“It’s always a privilege to be captain of a team, even though this one doesn’t play an actual game,” Cape said.
“It’s a nice little way to officially end the season.”
Carman Mapatuna (Napoleons-Seasbtopol), young gloveman Mitchell Zakynthinos (North Ballarat) and paceman Eamon Johnson (Wendouree) also made the cut.
Highlanders selector Rob McIntyre said the team was formed on playing statistics, not including finals, which helped give prominence to smaller associations.
All eight Victorian Country Cricket League regions’ top performers are nominated for the VCCL team of the year.
Each regional team is based on the same formula: two opening batsmen, two pace bowlers, one spinner, one leading all-rounder, one wicketkeeper and four batsmen who usually bat from three to six in the order.
Captaincy is by selector discretion.
“We chose Matt as an experienced player, for the man he is and the fact he won his second best and fairest this season,” McIntyre said.
“Jason McGann (Sunbury) was named vice-captain. He was Gisborne’s best and fairest player.
“... Put that team up against any other in the VCCL and I think it would compete quite well.”
Cape – with a combined batting tally of 529 runs at an average of 52.90 runs and highest scores of 103, 93 and 90 – and Mapatuna – with a batting tally of 574 runs at an average of 51.18 and highest scores of 110 and 99 – were both named as batsmen despite featuring as key all-rounders for their clubs last summer.
Avoca’s Adrian Pilgrim was given the sole all-rounder position in a 256-runs season and 51.2 average with 38 wickets, best bowling of 8-45 and 5.32 bowling average.
Sixteen-year-old Zakynthinos was named wicketkeeper purely on his collective dismissal tally of 22 catches behind the stumps.
Johnson, who topped the BCA’s bowling aggregate with 39 wickets, shares selection in a strong bowling attack.
McGann took 50 wickets this season with an 8.82 average, Steven Dellavedova (Laanecoorie-Dunolly) took 38 at 13.90 and spinner Brad Hunter (Sunbury) nabbed 28 at 13.54.
The Central Highlands Region includes the Ballarat, Gisborne, Castlemaine, Pyrenees and Maryborough associations.
This is the second season the region has named a team of the year.
Opening batsmen: Garry Curtis (Amphitheatre, Pyrenees), John Howarth (North Castlemaine, Castlemaine).
Batsmen: Hayden Castle (Riddell, Gisborne), Carman Mapatuna (Napoleons-Sebastopol, Ballarat), Matt Cape (Darley, Ballarat), Jamie Allan (North Castlemaine, Castlemaine).
All-rounder: Adrian Pilgrim (Avoca, Pyrenees).
Wicketkeeper: Mitchell Zakynthinos (North Ballarat, Ballarat).
Bowlers: Jason McGann (Sunbury, Gisborne), Steven Dellavedova (Laanecoorie-Dunolly, Maryborough), Eamon Johnson (Wendouree, Ballarat), Brad Hunter (Sunbury, Gisborne).