SIXTY of the region’s best cricketers are set to light up Kitchener Park over the next seven weeks as part of the Gunnedah Automotive premier league Twenty20 competition.
Players will be broken up into four teams with this year’s edition offering a new dynamic, with each team having both a senior and junior captain.
Leading the Sign Print Stitch Stars will be the duo of Brad Gander and Kaleb McIlveen, while the McDonalds Chargers will be lead by Farran Lamb and Oscar King.
Adam McGuirk and Cameron Milne will lead the Tamba Industrial Bulls while Hayden Baker and Mitchell Swain will guide the Imperial Hotel Tigers.
Chargers co-captain Oscar King said he was excited to help lead his side on the field.
“I’ve never really done anything like this outside of school cricket,” King said.
“For the last two seasons I’ve been playing first grade for Court House so it will be good to use some of what I’ve learnt here.
“There’s always a lot happening in a T20 game so it should be a lot of fun.”
Gunnedah District Cricket Association secretary James Mack said the two-captain concept was “designed to help prepare the younger guys for the future”.
“It’s really important for us to help secure the future of cricket here in Gunnedah,” Mack said.
“We can’t keep having the same captains year after year, so when we were looking for captains and a few younger guys put their hands up, we thought why not pair them with some of the older guys.”
This year’s competition will follow the same format as previous seasons, with each team playing each other twice followed by a grand final.
“We’ve had a pretty solid response in terms of registrations, it is the same number as last year so hopefully it will produce the same level of high quality cricket.”
As well as Gunnedah cricketers, the competition has drawn the interest of players from across the region.
“The lists look pretty stacked with about a dozen guys from Tamworth having registered,” Mack said.
“There are some quality players too, guys like Mitchell Swain, Ben Middlebrook and a fair few of the Tamworth guys who played in the competition last year.
“I think that level of interest shows how well run this competition is and hopefully we should see some really exciting cricket.”
“For the better part of 10 years we have been running it as franchise teams and not as clubs like other competitions do,” he said.
“I think by doing that you can add a lot of different dynamics to the games.
“For example, it is one of the few times you will get to play against guys you would usually line up alongside during club cricket.
“As well as that, it also gives guys a good opportunity to get to know blokes they would usually play against a lot better.
“I think it will be a lot of fun and we couldn’t do it without our sponsors, so a big thanks to them.”
- The action begins from 5.30pm at Kitchener Park on Friday with the first game between the Sign Print Stitch Stars and the Imperial Hotel Tigers, followed by the Tamba Industrial Bulls v the McDonalds Chargers.