IGNORING the threats and pleas of ODCA power brokers, Cricki Leaks has returned for the 2013-14 season with one simple goal.
To yank open the underwear drawer that is Orange cricket and throw light on the embarrassing unmentionables within.
As per last season, Cricki Leaks vows to pull no punches and grant no favours ... except to Ned Morrish, obviously, who remains a firm favourite at this desk.
For this season’s first instalment, Cricki Leaks has peered into the crystal ball, hoping to catch a glimpse of the months ahead.
Armed with the knowledge within, and spurred on by a winter spent in feverish study of 2012-13 statistics, this column proudly and confidently presents its fearless predictions for the 2013-14 season ...
Fearless prediction #1: Andrew Rutledge will not ‘take the pressure down’.
Sports stars spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming of the perfect finale to their career.
While not suggesting Orange City talisman Rutledge is a sports star, his dream is certainly now a reality, with the 2012-13 first grade premiership safely tucked away in the kitbag amid his goodbye to top flight cricket in March.
But Cricki Leaks isn’t buying it.
There’s more than a hint of Aussie icon and bad mullet-devotee John Farnham in Rutledge, with the 80s and 90s star renown for launching comebacks more frequently than a punch-drunk boxer.
Sources in the City camp have revealed Rutledge’s emotional post-grand final retirement speech in the Wade Park dressing sheds wasn’t his first.
In fact, it’s understood some veterans of the Warriors side were mouthing the words to the speech along with the fast bowler.
Take it as read - he’ll be back in ‘Findlay’s Fold’ at some stage before March rolls around.
Fearless prediction #2: Ducks fly together.
Not since Team USA coach and quasi-father figure Gordon Bombay graced the silver screen have we seen such mighty ducks.
A pair has appeared twice in the last three ODCA first grade grand finals, with Chris Hutchinson (Centrals, 2010-11) and Dave Neil (CYMS, 2012-13) failing to trouble the scorers in two chances at the crease during the big dance.
Cricki Leaks is predicting the pressure cooker-like environment of the decider to turn into an inferno in 2013-14, with not one but two willow wielders set to join the ODCA’s most elite club this summer.
Just who they will be is still unclear.
Fearless prediction #3: Friday night benders to pay off.
It’s common knowledge in Orange cricket circles that the first round of competition is routinely ruined by inclement weather.
Ignore yesterday’s swelter - it’s sure to happen again.
Take the punt on some form of cats and/or dogs falling from the sky later tonight or tomorrow morning and enjoy a few extra pre-game schooners.