CRICKET Albury-Wodonga captain James Tonkin has slammed the scheduling of the SCG Country Cup finals, with his team forced to leave on Boxing Day for its trip to the Central Coast.
CAW will play its quarter-final against Lisarow Ourimbah at Sohiers Park, Ourimbah, next Thursday, just two days after Christmas.
The scheduling has forced the withdrawals of James Weighell, Andrew Taylor, Brendan Klein-Boonschate and Cameron White, all unavailable for one of CAW’s biggest matches in years.
“It is a pretty difficult time for a lot of people,” Tonkin said yesterday.
“We will be leaving on Boxing Day.
“The scheduling is tricky but 90 per cent of the guys are on holidays.
“The guys that have put their hands up, we are very happy they’ve put their hands up.
“Those who couldn’t, we understand why.
“The other sides should have the same problem.”
Asked if the fixture could be changed, Cricket NSW’s Bruce Whitehouse said: “None whatsoever.”
“We’ve got three carnivals between that week and New Year, we have to fit them in when we can.”
CAW, which is unbeaten this season in both the SCG Country Cup and the Konica-Minolta Cup, comes up against a Lisarow Ourimbah side which booked its finals spot after victories against The Entrance, Mountains Kariong and Helensburgh.
CAW defeated Wagga and Murray Valley in the 50-over competition.
East Albury recruit Tom Wells, Lavington’s Liam Scammell, Wodonga’s Jack Robinson and Kiewa’s Ash Sutherland have come into the squad of 13.
Tonkin said the team would go into the clash with “really high hopes”.
“I think we’ve drawn pretty well, to be honest,” he said.
“We haven’t had much to do with sides from the Central Coast before.
“All we can do is go off the results we’ve seen.”
If CAW beats Lisarow Ourimbah, its semi-final will be the next day.
CAW is also alive in the Konica-Minolta Cup.
It faces Western District and University of Canberra Cricket Club in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 competition in Canberra on January 13.
CAW will also play in Melbourne Country Week, which is in February.