BPCA clubs ready to go after 2022 delay
CRICKETERS across the region are raring to get the second halves of their seasons under way, and now the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association (BPCA) can finally resume its matches following a week-long postponement.
The 2021/22 BPCA season was scheduled to restart on January 8 following the holiday break, but almost half of the association’s sides had reported large numbers of players affected by COVID-19.
After consultations with affiliated organisations, more than seven BPCA clubs were found to be seriously hindered with COVID-19 outbreaks before round 7’s matchups, which led to the season’s resumption being pushed back a week.
One of the clubs, second-ranked A1 side Queenscliff, saw the postponement as a “blessing in disguise” according to Coutas First XI captain Frank Mileto.
“You could say that probably for a lot of teams,” Mileto said.
“Including myself, we had six guys that are isolating with COVID in our team.
“So, I think last week was never really going to go ahead in the competitive fashion that we all love so much.
“I also feel like the league had probably started a week too early anyway, but we’re very keen to get back into it.”
Ocean Grove, who sit third on the A1 ladder, also saw the postponement as a positive.
However, Grubbers head coach Paul Jubber said there were reservations going forward.
“From what I am led to believe, we are definitely playing this week,” Jubber said.
“The only thing that would stop us playing is the weather, but the thought process is the BPCA might pull the pin on the D Grade competition to allow teams a larger pool of reserve players so teams have less sides to field and relieve some of the stress there.
“This postponement is not an ongoing solution, because we need to keep forging ahead with the season, because obviously we don’t know how it’s all going to pan out, but we need to make do with what’s available.”
The present top side in BPCA A1, undefeated Anglesea, have arguably been the luckiest side in the competition regarding players exposed to COVID-19 as well overall success.
“We have actually been quite lucky as a club,” Anglesea president and First XI player Brett Venables said.
“We were in a position to field all of our sides last weekend, but obviously it’s important to bear in mind that that could easily change.
“We’re looking to continue our good form and thanks to the extra week, all of our players are just that bit more excited to get back out there again and play some cricket.”
Alongside the BPCA’s resumption, the Geelong Cricket Association will also play their fixtures this Saturday, creating a regionwide return to play spanning from Geelong to the Bellarine and the Surf Coast.