ORANGE District Cricket Association selectors have named a strong Orange representative side for the opening round of the 2013-14 Western Zone Premier League - and they needed to.
After last weekend’s clash against Cowra was postponed, Orange will tackle Western Zone powerhouse Parkes in Parkes in its first game of the summer on Sunday.
Admitting a lack of game time isn’t ideal in the lead-up to such a big clash, Orange co-coach and selector Steve Ryan said Parkes will be in the same boat with their round one clash against the Blue Mountains also canned.
Naming a blend of youth and experience, Ryan said it was exciting to have the likes of Centrals skipper Adam Shepherd return and CYMS quick Todd Murphy debut.
“We’re happy guys like Shep have put their hand up to help, and they’ll be a couple more like that throughout the year,” Ryan said.
“And guys like Litchy (Charles Litchfield), James (Ryan) and Todd Murphy, they all performed on the weekend which is good to see.”
Murphy is the biggest bolter in the squad.
Making his first grade debut with CYMS in their round one win over defending premiers Orange City, the right-arm quick impressed in taking three wickets - including the scalp of Orange skipper Matt Findlay - off his seven overs.
He has gone from Centenary Cup to first grade, now onto senior representative cricket in six months.
Findlay will captain the team alongside fellow City stars James Conn, Lincoln Duncan, Jackson Coote and Ed Morrish, while CYMS’ Hugh Le Lievre, Kinross opener Charles Litchfield, Cavs centurion James Ryan and Centrals all-rounder Jake Pauletto make up the rest of the 12-man squad faced with the task of turning around a disappointing 2012-13.
Orange finished last season’s WZPL in last place, winless from the five games played.
On the other end of the Western Zone spectrum, Parkes edged out Dubbo by 0.1327 on quotient to take out the title after both finished the tournament with four wins from five matches.
Ryan was well aware of the enormity of the task at hand but was confident in the side picked.
“All of the other games in the zone were cancelled last week as well,” Ryan said.
“We’d have loved to have played last weekend, but Parkes are in the same boat as well.”
Orange tackles Parkes on Sunday in Parkes.
ORANGE: Matt Findlay (c), Adam Shepherd, Charles Litchfield, James Conn, James Ryan, Lincoln Duncan, Liam Gough, Jackson Coote, Jake Pauletto, Hugh Le Lievre, Ed Morrish, Todd Murphy.