On the right path

LATROBE Valley cricketers heading to country week in Melbourne on Monday may have more to play for than in previous years.

A Victorian Country Cricket League review of the competition this weekend may see the introduction of new player pathways to representative cricket through the week-long event.

Region seven president George Munro cited the case of former Centrals player Nathan Freitag, who took a five-wicket haul for a Victoria second XI side against the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy recently, as an example of the potential for promotion to higher levels through country week.

“That’s the sort of pathway that you can (now follow) from playing Country Week and playing Victorian country cricket,” Munro said.

“That’s a wonderful advantage for anyone that makes themselves available (for these teams).

“They want to have a structure where there’s a reason to play Country Week and a reason to play Victorian Country games.”

Central Gippsland will return to country week this year, but its recent absence from the tournament will see them play in fourth division along with Warragul, while Traralgon and District Cricket Association will contest division two.

Leongatha and Sale Maffra will play in division one.

Rob Phoenix of Moe will captain the CGCA team, which will enter the carnival full of confidence following a dramatic one-run victory over Bairnsdale in the Gippsland Cricket League’s final round.

Raiders skipper Brad Knowles will lead the TDCA.