Cricket: Creswick Imperials switch associations to play on turf wicket

CRESWICK Imperials’ marquee cricket team is on the move in a bid to play on a turf wicket all summer.

Imperials’ senior coach, Kane Leathem, has confirmed his club’s top team will join the Maryborough and District Cricket Association next season.

Leathem said Maryborough offered the best options to bolster club ranks.

“There’s a number of opportunities to play at a higher level and playing on turf will help develop our younger guys,” Leathem said.

The Imperials’ first XI had been playing in Ballarat Cricket Association’s district division one competition.

They play home games on turf at their Invermay ground, but every away fixture is on a hard wicket.

Leathem said about eight years ago the club had explored moving to the BCA’s club competition, which is turf-based in the firsts, but the move had never worked.

Depth would be the biggest hurdle in attempting to do so again.

The Imperials are in talks with the BCA on how transfers between grades, allowing promotions from lower grades to Maryborough competition and vice-versa, could be made.

Leathem said the club was keen and hopeful of retaining teams in BCA district divisions two and three.

“We have quite a few blokes that look forward to playing BCA competition each week and the BCA is still a big part of our club. A lot of guys are happy to stay with that,” Leathem said.

“Some of us want to play on turf ... with Maryborough, there is also a greater chance to push up to representative cricket and play Melbourne Country Week.”

The Maryborough competition includes clubs in Dunolly, Carisbrook, Beaufort and Clunes.

Leathem said while there would be more travel involved, it was nothing too great.

The BCA is yet to receive official notice of the Imperials’ impending departure.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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