Wendouree ground set to host BCA decider

Wendouree’s C.E Brown Reserve looms as the front-runner to host this season’s Ballarat Cricket Association first grade grand final.

Traditionally held at the Eastern Oval, the four-day clash is almost certain to be forced elsewhere during 2017-18 because of the major upgrade currently underway at that venue.

Works on the Eastern Oval have kicked off in recent weeks, with the centre wicket table torn up on Tuesday.

The ground revamp is part of a major $2million project planned for the central Ballarat facility that will also include new turf wicket training nets, oval lighting upgrade to Cricket Australia Class II standards and two redeveloped unisex change rooms.

City of Ballarat reports that construction of the turf cricket nets, oval resurfacing and change rooms is expected to be completed by March next year.

Funding of $1.5 million has been provided from the City of Ballarat and $500,000 from Sport and Recreation Victoria.

It is hoped the works will allow the facility to host high-level cricket events in the future.

The BCA firsts grand final is scheduled to be played on the weekends of March 17-18 and March 24-25.

BCA operations officer Greg Wakeling said as it stands, C.E Brown Reserve was the pick of the association’s venues.

Wakeling said the BCA would want to play at least one regular season fixture on the new wicket table at the Eastern Oval before scheduling finals there, but that didn’t appear likely this season.

He said North Ballarat 2 looked likely to host the second grade grand final, which would keep the two top divisions close together.

C.E Brown Reserve is also in line to host games during the under-16 boys state championships in December.

Four teams are set to play matches in Ballarat during the carnival, with other fixtures booked for St Patrick’s College and North Ballarat 2.

The games have been scheduled for December 18-20.

Four rounds have been completed in the first grade competition this season, with teams currently in the midst of two-day round five encounters.

Golden Point and North Ballarat are the two undefeated teams in the A-grade ranks and both are in a good position following Saturday afternoon’s play.

Two more two-day fixtures are scheduled before the firsts take a significant break across the Christmas-New Year period.

Play will conclude on Saturday, December 16 and resume again on Saturday, January 13.