THE Wendy Gray Shield is up for grabs on Sunday in the annual Central Highlands T20 Just for Girls carnival.
Four teams will battle out the title, with three from across the Central Highlands district and one invitational side from the Barwon region.
The Ballarat and Gisborne and District cricket associations have standalone sides, while the Grampians and Castlemaine and District leagues will again combine in a bid to defend the crown they claimed last year.
Barwon has seven confirmed starters, but is expected to get topped up by players from other teams.
The competition is for under-15 players, and while it is regarded as the female equivalent of the junior country week carnival, its main focus is for the development of girls cricket and to provide a positive experience in an all-girls setting.
Russell Square will host the tournament on ovals one and two, with matches to begin from 10am.
Central Highlands regional cricket manager Campbell Waring said there had been a good response to this year’s event.
“With the success of the WBBL this year, female cricket is proving to be very popular amongst young girls, with female numbers playing junior cricket on an all-time high across the Central Highlands region,” Waring said.
“A big thanks to the East Ballarat Cricket Club for their hosting of the event, including having canteen available all day for families and spectators and providing a barbecue lunch for players and officials.”
Gray, a long-term female cricket promoter and current Central Highlands region board member, will present the shield to the winning team.
The competition has been running since 2012.