Sporties Spitfires captain Liam Smith is confident the new team will help spark Twenty20 cricket in Bendigo.
The franchise team, formed in partnership by the Bendigo District Cricket Association and the Kangaroo Flat Sports Club, won its inaugural match of the Goulburn Valley Big Bash League at Dower Park last Sunday.
In an era where the only representative cricket for open-age players in Bendigo is the Melbourne Country Week carnival, the birth of the Spitfires adds another level to cricket in the region.
"Selection for this team may well come from performances in the local Twenty20 competition,'' Smith said.
"If there are players in the BDCA that want to be part of this then they're going to need to perform at local Twenty20 level.
"Hopefully, that helps lift the standard of the local Twenty20 cricket."
Smith said Strathfieldsaye Jets all-rounder Chathura Damith was a prime example of why the concept can benefit BDCA players.
Damith wasn't in the original Spitfires team, but forced his way into the squad on the back of a man of the match effort at local T20 level.
He turned out to be a match-winner for the Spitfires. His quickfire 31 off 14 balls with the bat turned the game in the home side's favour.
"This is not just for players who have played at Melbourne Country Week level, this is an opportunity for players who specialise at Twenty20 format to get their chance to play at a higher level,'' Smith said.
"We needed a late replacement for the squad, so Chathura Damith's name came up because he took five wickets for Strathfieldsaye in the local Twenty20 competition last week.
"Obviously he was one of our best bowlers on Sunday and with his batting he won us the game. He struck the ball so cleanly."
Smith said the thrilling two-wicket win over the Hurley Hotel Hounds was the perfect start to Spitfires' campaign.
"It was exciting to get a win first-up in those circumstances,'' he said.
"We probably had things against us with five or six overs left, so to get a win was great.
"It's hard when you put teams like that together, but we made a conscious effort to make sure we got around each other.
"You don't always have to be the best team, but if you can gel and come together as a group then anything can happen.
"I'm a massive advocate for believing that something like that can help you get through tight situations like we had."
The four-team tournament is played over three rounds.
The Spitfires play the SRP Mud Dogs at Deakin Reserve in Shepparton in round two on December 10.
The final round is in Echuca on Sunday, January 21, with the grand final scheduled for Sunday, February 11 in Shepparton.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.