Teams across Melbourne will be padding up this weekend with the return of the men's and women's Premier Cricket competitions.
Defending champions Fitzroy Doncaster are looking to become the first club to record three consecutive titles since St Kilda’s historic quadruple between 2002 and 2006. The Lions face Melbourne this weekend in a re-match of last year’s final.
Essendon Maribyrnong Park (EMP) and Box Hill have dominated women’s Premier Cricket over the last decade and EMP are on the hunt for a second consecutive Agnes McDonnell trophy after winning the final last year.
Cricket Victoria CEO Tony Dodemaide said the season would culminate in the awarding of the 100th Men’s Premier Cricket title.
“Clubs have put in a significant volume of work across the pre-season to have their club and the players in the best possible position to deliver success. The competition is set up well again for another exciting season,” Dodemaide said.
“On behalf of everyone in Victorian cricket we wish all clubs, players, umpires, administrators and in particular the enormous number of volunteers, the very best for the summer ahead.”
Early season milestones:
Northcote’s Shane Herbert will score his 450th Premier 1st XI match when the Dragons take on the Cats at the GCG.
CV Umpire Paul Baleisa will officiate in his 300th Premier match on Sunday
Fitzroy Doncaster captain Peter Dickson will play his 200th match for the Lions this weekend.
Notable Player Arrivals at Premier Clubs (previous club or place of origin in parentheses)
Box Hill: Heidi Pearce (Prah), Alannah Dahlsen (Bruns), Marie Kelly (UK), Emily Roberts (UK)
Carlton: Evan Gulbis (Prah), Charlie Ross (St K), Aaron Smillie (GK), Sam Edwards (Qld)
Dandenong: Jak Jowett (St K), Darren Pattinson (returning), Kimberley Garth (Ire)
Essendon: James Seymour (returning), Patrick Matautaava (Vanuatu)
Essendon Maribyrnong Park: Sophie Van De Heuvel (PV)
Footscray: Mitch Barnewall (Ess), Thomas Ewing (FP)
Geelong: Tim Ludeman (SA), Josh Cobb (UK)
Greenvale Kangaroos: Gerard Legge-Wilkinson (Foot), Alex Mellor (UK), Mahesh Kodamulla (SL)
Kingston Hawthorn: Ryan Ninan (returning), Shivank Vijayakumar (WA), Jack Taylor (UK)
Melbourne Uni: Wes Agar (SA)
Northcote: Mark Phelan (Carl), Michael Edwards (Heidelberg)