Erdeljac claims unfair: league

CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac
CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac

THE Victorian Country Cricket League has disputed claims by CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac that it doesn’t do enough for country associations.

League president Warren Riches yesterday labelled Erdeljac’s criticism as “unfair” and said he would be happy to discuss any problems he had with Melbourne Country Week.

“Our door is always open,” Riches said.

“We definitely don’t sit in an ivory tower and are always trying to be pro-active.

“If Mr Erdeljac has a problem we would be happy to sit down and look at his proposal.

“He probably feels he has previous issues with us from the final a couple of years ago with the weather, but I have never refused to talk to anyone and region representative Trevor Saker is there as well.”

CAW withdrew from Melbourne Country Week this year to concentrate on the SCG Cup and Konica-Minolta Cup, with Erdeljac saying those competitions gave the association the opportunity to play at SCG and Manuka Oval.

But Riches said the league had secured a similar arrangement for its showpiece match.

“We have lobbied Cricket Victoria hard for the past few years and this year we have managed to get the provincial final to be played at the MCG,” he said.

“There is a Twenty20 competition from club level being played straight after the game as well, which your teams could have played in.

“The opportunities are there.”

CAW has dropped back to division four after withdrawing from the competition several years ago and narrowly missed out on being promoted to division three last year when it lost the final.

Benalla will play in division two while Wangaratta and District is in division three.

“Albury dropped out of the comp and it has to work its way back up,” he said.

“Mr Erdeljac has to realise only the top team goes up, because if we promote two we would have drop two down.

“I guess you can be critical of the standard, but he’s talking about division four and obviously it’s higher in provincial.”