In this weeks edition of Tyler’s Top Ten, Gazette reporter TYLER LEWIS takes a look at the best venues for cricket in the area of coverage…
10. Hallam Recreation Reserve (Hallam Kalora Park DDCA)
The host venue of the Dandenong District Cricket Association 2020/21 grand final did not disappoint, and that is why it sneaks onto the list. It has fantastic drainage for those dreaded rainy days, and is a sensational venue for the purist cricket lovers. Unlike other DDCA venues, Hallam is large, leaving runs a smidge more difficult to accumulate quickly. Often see smaller, yet more difficult totals set on this deck – which usually means for better quality cricket.
9. E Gunton Oval (Cardinia WGCA)
That fantastic clubroom with the green roof that seems so far, yet so close to the action, gets this venue on the list. It’s played host to some fantastic West-Gippsland Cricket Association matches, which also has to be taken into account.
8. Baxter Park (Baxter/Heatherhill MPCA)
This collection of grounds makes the list for a different reason. Unlike other grounds on this list, Baxter Park makes the Top Ten as there are nine grounds in one complex. A Saturday afternoon at Baxter Park for a journalist is bound to offer up a plethora of stories. A patch of grass and a pitch is enough for cricket to be played, it’s a sight to see on an afternoon.
7. Arch Brown Reserve (Berwick DDCA)
It’s always hard to go beyond a venue with such a rich history. Named after the man, the legend, himself, Arch Brown Reserve has played host to some mighty cricketers and that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
6. Adrian Butler Oval (Frankston Heat VPC)
Pack the camp chair and sit under the trees, this is a ground where you can move from shadow to shadow around this magnificent ground. The ground itself is always patterned spectacularly so when the ball beats the field it often forces the umpire to signal to the scorers. Despite its picnic-like vibes on the hill that surrounds the oval, you won’t be able to fall asleep, with the train rattling by every 30 minutes to keep you on your toes.
5. Shepley Oval (Dandenong VPC)
With a pavilion square of the wicket aiming towards a luxurious scoreboard, this ground could be more for the viewers rather than the players waiting to take centre. When a fast-bowler is steaming in, it often looks a tad sharper square of the wicket, but it is a small price to pay for the picturesque view from that old-fashioned pavilion.
4. Park Oval (Buckley Ridges DDCA)
Most definitely the favourite of the Gazette photographers, they can almost use the wide-angled lens and still reach centre-wicket. Decent set of trees leaving plenty of shade to park the picnic rug under, but don’t get too relaxed, you will need to keep an eye on the ball at all times, it doesn’t take long to get across the boundary, not the worst idea to go and park inside Shepley Oval either.
3. Tooradin Recreation Reserve (Tooradin WGCA)
This ground has plenty to offer, but the view point behind the bowlers arm and a fantastic place to grab lunch is all viewers need to be convinced it’s the place to spend their Saturday afternoon. Add in the fact that the Gulls are a fantastic cricket side to watch and you can’t go wrong with a trip to Tooradin Recreation Reserve.
2. David McPharlane Reserve (Sorrento MPCA)
A top notch venue with a beautiful balcony that looks across the ground over the cricket, perfectly angled to the electric scoreboard. Sorrento is an amazing ground for many reasons, but the drive down the Peninsula isn’t one of them, good luck getting to the game on time if it’s a sunny afternoon.
1. Casey Fields 4 (Casey-South Melbourne VPC)
A venue for the old fashioned cricket lovers. The facilities are second to none, the ground is always in fantastic shape, there is plenty of parking and the white picket fences can win over any traditionalist. A little bit more of a contest between bat and ball would make this cricket ground contend with the best in Victoria, but asking for more from this ground is just being greedy.