MORE junior cricket matches are set to be played away from the traditional Saturday this season.
At a recent meeting, Sale-Maffra Junior Cricket Association president Ken Bailey has proposed midweek and Friday evening matches in an attempt to curb the general decline of junior players moving into senior age groups.
The association has given approval for midweek games if the clubs involved agree.
Some junior matches have been played on Friday evenings in previous seasons.
Playing midweek and Friday matches would allow children committed to other sprots and casual work to play cricket.
With Saturday junior matches usually beginning at 9am, the altermative times would benefit children and parents who disliked early Saturday morning starts, while freeing up the weekend for family and other interests.
Changing times would also mean children who wish to challenge themselves by playing senior cricket on Saturday afternoon would not be subjected to playing a full day.
There is also the social benefits for clubs, with parents and friends of players able to watch the matches during the evening.
While some clubs are still apprehensive about the change, Sale Cricket Club is supporting the idea.
Acknowledging the drop-off in numbers and interest, mainly in the under 16s, Sale under 16 coach Ian Wrigglesworth said the club would will actively promoting midweek junior cricket.
“Why not make use of our excellent facilities more often?
“It’s terrific for our club’s social environment with parents and friends watching their kids playing cricket, enjoying a barbecue,” Wrigglesworth said.