APOLLO Bay cricket president Matthew Hanks says every Colac district cricket club should field two teams to help improve the competition.
Hanks said clubs should each have a team in Colac District Cricket Association’s Division One with subsequent teams in lower divisions.
The cricket visionary has forwarded three options in a letter to the CDCA executive aimed at strengthening the league to help retain talented players.
Hanks said the letter was about starting a discussion on how to improve Colac district cricket.
“There’s a real trend at the moment of people leaving our association to play at other clubs and that’s worrying,” he said.
“If we can’t keep our better cricketers in the competition, we’re never going to keep it at a level that it needs to stay at.
“The guys who are leaving are not necessarily playing GCA1, a lot of guys are playing GCA third division and second division.
“We have to be able to keep our league at a level to keep those guys in it.”
The letter’s other options include ensuring clubs with one team play in Division Two and promotion for clubs highest-ranked teams who play finals in Division Two or Three for two consecutive years.
Hanks said the association needed to consider changing its structure and possibly implementing any changes over two or three seasons.
“All we want is people talking about cricket, someone might come up with something that works a lot better for Colac cricket,” he said.
“We want people to talk about it and think about how they can help the association, not just their own club.”
Participation levels in cricket have dropped dramatically over the past 10 years.
Colac district clubs including Apollo Bay, Deans Marsh, Birregurra and Tomahawk Creek have played Division One cricket in past seasons but their top-graded teams play in Division Two this season.
Hanks said fewer players meant cricket would not return to past levels but clubs needed to talk about ways to improve the game.
“The standard is not what it was and let’s be clear, it will never ever get back to that because there’s not as many people playing cricket,” he said.
“That’s why we need to make cricket in Colac as attractive as possible to
keep the better players involved at the highest level we can.
“We’ve got to think outside the box and start to think not just about our own club, but think about what’s better for the whole association.”