Ballarat Cricket Association players can finally break out the whites and sunscreen.
All is in place – most importantly favourable weather – to get the season up and running this weekend.
The BCA community has had a frustrating time with the scheduled opening three weeks called off with insufficient grounds available owing to a wetter than usual spring.
The key to getting the all clear has been a much overdue run of dryer conditions leading up to Saturday, which is forecast for a rain-free high of 20 degrees.
This has allowed grounds to be prepared and be declared fit for play.
BCA operations manager Greg Wakeling said it was a relief to finally be able to get games underway. “It’s been a frustrating time for all.”
All senior and junior grades will have one-day fixtures spread across Saturday and Sunday.
Wakeling said there were still not enough grounds available to have all grades playing on Saturday.
He is hopeful this number will increase enough to have all next round on Saturdays across all competitions.
Brown Hill’s Progress Park and and White Flat Oval are among the grounds yet to be cleared for play.
Wakeling said Brown Hill was still too wet overall, while White Flat had some surface water.
Just the one match will be played on turf – with the Josh White-led Golden Point beginning its premiership defence against Darley at Darley Park on Saturday.
The BCA expects turf wickets on the City Oval, Russell Square and Eastern Oval to be ready for use in the next round.
Wendouree and new turf wickets at Alfredton Oval and Northern Oval No.2 are on target for matches in round four on November 19-26.
BALLARAT Cricket Association will begin discussions about the appointment of a senior representative team coach next week.
Greg Wakeling said the process would begin at meeting on Monday night.
The BCA needs a replacement for Napoleons-Sebastopol all-rounder Carmen Mapatuna, who has returned to Sri Lanka.
Wakeling said the BCA was also yet to finalise a match schedule leading up to Melbourne Country Week.
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