LEONGATHA and District cricketers Gavin Britt and Tim Wightman were last week named in the second-ever Victorian Country Cricket League (VCCL) team of the year. Wonthaggi Workers’ Britt and Nerrena’s Wightman were selected in the team following an outstanding season for their respective clubs and the LDCA in 2012-13. Britt was named as one of the side’s specialist batsmen.
From his 15 innings for the Workers last season, Britt chalked up 895 runs at an average of 74.58 with five hundreds and a highest score of 136. Britt also batted for the LDCA four times, making 238 at an average of 79.33 with a highest score of 127. Wightman was the VCCL team’s sole spin bowler. The leg spinner was dominant last season for the Red Caps, claiming 46 wickets at an average of 16.98 and with a strike rate of 33.76. His best bowling was 7/94. Wightman was also key to the LDCA side’s success, playing in nine matches for 18 wickets at 14.50 with a strike rate of 26.28. They were two of four Gippsland cricketers named in the side along with batsman Kuashik Aphale (from Latrobe Cricket Club) and bowler Nathan Smith (West Bairnsdale CC).
Eight regional teams of the year were originally forwarded to the VCCL to be considered for inclusion in the Victorian Country Cricket League team. Members of the 2012-13 VCCL team were acknowledged at a medallion presentation at the league’s annual general meeting on Sunday, August 4. The process was adopted by the VCCL as a way of promoting country cricket and its better performers. It is also seen as a strategy to encourage VCCL selectors to become more familiar with the talented cricketers in all associations in their regions, not just in the major competitions. “It is purely a statistical exercise. The VCCL team of the year is decided on the basis of total runs and wickets, the best averages and the most wicket-keeping dismissals. All other variables are discounted,” VCCL selector Kelvin White said. “By asking all regions to compile their best teams, we have had conversations with people right across country Victoria about the merits of their best performers for the season.
“Carrying out this exercise shows players that, statistically, they do stack up against one another. We all understand there are different levels of competition but you can only bat and bowl against the players on the other team. “Selecting a statistical VCCL team of the year gives us a starting point for working out our best players, and sorting potential Victorian country squad members for the Australian national championships.” White admitted the task to select the VCCL team was a fascinating exercise. “So many good players, so many impressive stats,” he said.