Sport

Pathway revamped

By Benalla Ensign

Cricket Victoria has revamped its state youth pathway program to improve the experience for players and parents and align the pathway with the state’s Premier Cricket competition.

The new competition will be called the Youth Premier League and is set to run between November and January each summer.

The streamlined approach will see the competition split into a Stars and Renegades league.

Among the key changes:

Playing: Increased match opportunities for players and a consistent approach across Victoria.

T20 cricket: all players will have increased exposure to T20 cricket throughout the Youth Premier League. The Under-18 men’s competition will exclusively play T20 fixtures and act as a feeder for Premier Cricket T20 competition and future Big Bash talent pools.

Fielding positions: Minimum and maximum numbers of players out of the circle to promote a positive brand of cricket.

Parent and Players education: Defined areas for players and parents to allow players to develop, grow and perform in the team environment.

Cricket Victoria Coaching and Talent Pathway Manager Dean Russ said the new competition would see benefits for players and parents and broaden the talent pool across the state.

‘‘This is an important step forward for youth cricket in this state. We have removed some of the challenges for both players and families in their cricket journey and set ourselves up to deliver the next generation of outstanding talent from across the state,’’ Russ said.

‘‘We are creating more match opportunities via our performance programs and developing a consistent approach across Victoria.

‘‘What is important is giving players the right structure and opportunities to show us what they can do.

‘‘These changes will hopefully make the cricketing pathway easier to understand and develop talented Victorian cricketers holistically for years to come.

‘‘The best players from the Youth Premier League are set to compete in a Youth Super Series — a competition held in February and March.’’

The Youth Premier League begins in November this year.