COMPETITION for a place in the 2013 Western Zone cricket team could be hotter than ever with the chance to play at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the line.
When Western Zone won the 2012 NSW Country Championship, they earned the right to take on the 2012-13 Sydney Limited Overs winners, North Sydney.
Normally this is a pre-season game, but in 2013 the match will be played in November at the SCG.
Western Zone chairman Dennis Cox received confirmation of the SCG location this week and said it was a fantastic opportunity for the region’s cricketers.
“It will probably cost the zone a little bit, but the chance for the players to play at the SCG will far outweigh the cost,” Cox said.
Orange teenager Liam Gough was in the Western Zone side which took out the 2012 title when they celebrated a two-wicket win over Central Coast in the final at Wade Park.
Gough said he would certainly put his hand up again for representative selection this season.
“I think I should. You don’t want to miss an opportunity like that,” the paceman said.
“It’s good to get out of the country and play somewhere else. I don’t think we expected that good of a ground, though.”
It won’t be the same Western Zone side which took out the 2012 title taking on North Sydney in November.
Cox said some players from the 2012 side are no longer available, so this season’s representative team would play at the SCG.
This means there is the opportunity for some different faces to represent the region.
“It will be up to the selectors,” Cox said of who would line up at the SCG.
Western Zone will play in the NSW Country Championships’ southern pool matches in Orange from November 15 to 17.
After this the team will be confirmed to take on North Sydney on Friday, November 29 in a 50-over match.
North Sydney toppled Northern District by 41 runs in their limited overs final in March this year.
Gough has another reason he is keen to play with Western Zone this year.
The Cavaliers bowler will spend the second half of the 2013-14 season playing in Sydney.
“I hope to play with Western in the first half of the season before I go to Sydney. I want to finish off my year with the boys,” Gough said.
Gough said he hadn’t settled on which Sydney club he would play with yet, but he will play the first half of the season with Cavaliers in the Orange District Cricket Association first grade competition.