Ships busy preparing for cricket future

One day: A view from the timekeepers box overlooking the future second oval in Trafalgar. File photograph




WHO would want to be the Trafalgar Cricket Club secretary at the moment.

The Ships have had a busy few weeks preparing for their immediate and long-term future.

In what was possibly the worst kept secret in local sport, Trafalgar officially gave notice last week that it would vote at the end of the month to join the Warragul District Cricket Association.

The special resolution is: (that) “The Trafalgar Cricket Club affiliate with the Warragul District Cricket Association for season 2023/24 and beyond”.

“After a lengthy review by a sub committee appointed by the Trafalgar Cricket Club (TCC) committee, the recommendation was unanimously approved by the TCC committee members in attendance at the Monday, May 8, 2023 committee meeting to seek affiliation with the Warragul District Cricket Association (WDCA),” the meeting notice stated.

“It is the view of the TCC committee that a move to the WDCA would deliver a number of benefits, including A Grade matches at Trafalgar Recreation Reserve, reduced travel for senior grade players, changed playing conditions that shorten match days including capped two day overs, increase in potential benefits to sourcing a second oval in Trafalgar, and participation in the club’s home shire.”

Trafalgar has competed in the Latrobe Valley District Cricket League since the league was formed in 2018. This came about after five clubs from the Traralgon District Cricket Association joined to create the expanded competition, branching off from the old Central Gippsland Cricket Association.

However, with the LVDCL mandating for the vast majority of A Grade games to be played on turf wickets, and with Trafalgar Recreation Reserve only having a synthetic, it has meant the Ships have been financially burdened with travelling away to play matches for the best part of five years.

Trafalgar will need a three quarters majority of eligible members voting in favour of affiliating with the WDCA in order for the move to go ahead.

The WDCA would then need to formally accept Trafalgar at its AGM in June.

Just where Trafalgar fits into WDCA grading would also need to be determined. Last season, the Ships fielded senior teams in A Grade, B Grade and C Grade, and juniors in Under 16s, 14s and 12s.

Talk of Trafalgar moving back to the WDCA has been doing the rounds for years, although this is the first time discussions have come to a formal vote.

Trafalgar originally competed in the WDCA from 1932/33 until 1990/91, and again from 2001/02 to 2009/10, switching to Central Gippsland twice.

Trafalgar is attending a WDCA gathering tonight (May 24) for the association’s information meeting with clubs.

If the Ships were to leave the LVDCL, it would take the competition to 11 A Grade teams.

The loss of Trafalgar might not matter in terms of creating an even draw, as The Express understands a current Traralgon District Cricket Association club is exploring the option of affiliating with the LVDCL next season.

RUNNING concurrent with this, is Trafalgar’s continued advocacy for a second cricket/football oval in Trafalgar.

The Trafalgar Cricket Club presented to Baw Baw Shire Council last Wednesday (May 17) at its hearing of budget submissions.

The Trafalgar second oval is listed in the BBSC draft long term infrastructure plan with a $3 million price tag, but proponents from further West are fighting for the allocation to be spent on a similar project to see a third ground constructed in Drouin.

With the Ships potentially moving back the WDCA, it is perhaps ironic they could be locked in another battle with Drouin, their fiercest rival.

Land where the second Trafalgar oval will be built is owned by BBSC, which was made possible by the generosity of the Turra family, who sold their family farm in the mid-2000s.

A pavilion named in their honour was opened last year, on the site where the second oval will be built.

It is understood Trafalgar cricketers, at the end of the last two seasons, have gathered informally in the dark of night at the Turra Pavilion to ‘toast’ the future oval.

Given Trafalgar is the third biggest town in Baw Baw, it would appear vital there is appropriate infrastructure to support the growing population, which will only increase once more people move into The Range subdivision.

TCC might not just stop at two ovals, with plans to work with Trafalgar High School to resurrect the high school ground also in the works.

That secretary will sleep well when all this is finished.