The Ballarat Cricket Association country week team will be without gun paceman Ash McCafferty for this week’s Victorian Country Cricket League Melbourne Country Week division two campaign.
The North Ballarat quick, who has taken 33 wickets at an average of 12.5 this BCA first grade season, begins a new job on Monday, making him unavailable and dealing a major blow to the side on the eve of the competition.
Captain Nathan Yates said obviously losing McCafferty was not ideal, Ballarat-Redan’s Matthew Aikman making his way into the squad, but he was confident the team had plenty of weapons and depth to produce a strong week.
“We’re pretty happy and confident with the team we’ve ended up with,” Yates said.
Yates said there was a strong drive within the group to return Ballarat cricket to “where it belongs”, and that is in the top division.
“Obviously our aim is to get back in to provincial (the top division), which would mean taking out division two to get into the higher grade where Ballarat cricket belongs.
“That’s the aim shared by the boys, we’re pushing to go back into provincial next year.”
Given the uncertainty around the make-up of opposition teams in the country week format, Yates said the side would simply focus on its own output.
“A lot of the planning has been around what we can do.
“We can’t plan for who we’re playing against, because it’s a real unknown.
“If we do our basics right, we should be in good stead come the end of the week.”
Ballarat Cricket Association will take on Shepparton in its round one clash on Monday.