Wangaratta batsmen ‘need to step up’

WANGARATTA and District coach Barry Grant has called on the association’s batsmen to stand up at Melbourne Country Week.

It will again compete in division 3 and Grant said the team needed to excel in the batting department to stand any chance of gaining promotion.

“That’s probably our weak link, if we have one,” Grant said.

“We need the batting to stand up.

“In reality you need to make at least 200 to be competitive at Country Week.

“Nine times out of 10 the tracks are good for batting.

“We’ve had guys scrounge a lot of scores over the past few years and get to 120 or 130 and then had to fight hard to defend that total.”

Grant said the squad was similar to the one the association took last year.

Kent Braden will captain the team once again.

“We came close to making the final last year but got washed out on the final day,” Grant said.

“The game was in the balance at that point and if we had gone on to win we could have sneaked in.”

Grant is confident of progressing to Division 2.

“We’re playing a similar bunch of sides as we did the past couple of years and going by that we shouldn’t be too far off,” he said.

“They’ve generally been good games of cricket.”

The WDCA had a hit-out against Benalla on Sunday to help prepare for the tournament on February 18.

THE SQUAD: Kent Braden (captain), Peter Jeffries, Jordan Blades, Jeremy Wilson, Richard Worcester, Matt Hunt, Nathan Thomas, Jarod Thomson, John Hyde, Simon Patterson, Nick Stebnyckyj, Ashley Saunders, Zach Moore, Lakpriya Perera.