BLAYNEY skipper Jameel Qureshi has fired the first warning shot of the 2013-14 Royal Hotel Cup, saying his side is determined to raid the Orange District Cricket Association and take out this summer’s Twenty20 competition.
Blayney plays its regular Saturday cricket in the Bathurst District Cricket Association, but is invited annually to take part in the ODCA’s Twenty20 competition.
Last year Blayney made it through to the semi-finals before falling to CYMS by eight wickets.
Hinting his side has learned plenty from its loss in the Royal Hotel Cup’s penultimate game, Qureshi said anything short of a grand final appearance in 2013-14 will be considered disappointing for Blayney.
“I think we did well in this format last year. We want to win it,” the Mitchell and Western Zone star said.
“I think a few of the boys thought we’d do it relatively easy after the first few games last season, but it only takes one knock or one bloke to tear through you and things change pretty quickly in Twenty20.”
Blayney’s first game is against Centrals tonight at Wade Park.
Largely suited to two-day cricket, Centrals didn’t win a Twenty20 game last summer, but skipper Jake Pauletto was determined to help turn that form around this season.
“With only two other teams in the pool we nearly have to win,” Pauletto said, Molong being the third side in Pool C.
“Things can change pretty quickly in Twenty20 cricket, so as long we’re ticking over the scoreboard with the bat and when we’re in the field make Blayney work hard for their runs, we’ll be in the game.”
Brothers Mitch and Riley Harvey will play crucial roles for Centrals, while Qureshi labelled opening batsman Nick Bird as the key for his side with the willow.
Bowlers David Rogerson, Jayden Fuller and Simon Ewin are in good form, too.
Asking Qureshi just what it is that’ll get his side’s campaign off on a winning note, the answer was simple.
“The big shots will come, the biggest thing for us is the stuff in between,” he said.
“Turning those ones into twos and quick singles.”
Centrals take on Blayney from 6.30pm at Wade Park.
Millthorpe tackles Blayney in an under 14s Twenty20 clash from 4pm prior to the main game.
A barbecue will be on offer.