ORANGE District Cricket Association president Mark Frecklington is confident rep selectors have named the strongest possible Orange line-up in a bid to win its first President’s Cup since 2009-10.
Orange has opened the year with two representative losses, going down to Mudgee by nine wickets in the side’s first Western Premier League fixture before narrowly missing out on an upset against Dubbo, losing by a wicket.
However, the team remains upbeat and with a couple of new inclusions for the weekend’s President’ Cup campaign Frecklington believes the team’s first win of the summer is just around the corner.
Orange takes on the Blue Mountains in game one at the Bathurst Showground.
“They’ve got a couple of good players. We’ve just got to go out there and give it our best,” Frecklington said.
He added the team, although still a loss, got plenty out of pushing Western Zone big guns Dubbo to within a wicket of a victory at Wade Park in its latest match.
“They certainly did. At the end of the day a win would have been wonderful, but the team’s performance proved to the boys they can compete with the best at this level,” he said.
Orange welcomes wicketkeeper-batsman Lincoln Duncan into the 12-man squad with explosive batsman Luke Clarke also included.
Regular opener Charles Litchfield will play for Western Zone’s under 17s in the Rod Hartas Trophy leg of the President’s Cup weekend while Jake Pauletto also makes way, with both Clarke and Duncan now in the squad.
If successful against Blue Mountains on Saturday, Orange will play the winner of the Mudgee and Bathurst clash on Sunday.
The two first round losers will face off as well.
“Hopefully our second game is against the winner,” Frecklington said.
It’s the most important weekend in the Mitchell Cricket Council senior competition, with eight teams competing in the two divisions of the President’s Cup Carnival.
Along with the main event pitting MCC regulars Orange, Bathurst, Mudgee and the Blue Mountains against one and other, Lithgow, Molong and Gulgong will be joined by Western Zone under 17s academy squad in the Rod Hartas Trophy.
Bathurst has won the last two President’s Cups while Orange has won it five times since the Cup’s inception in 1994.
Mudgee is the most successful side winning the Cup seven times including a stretch of six in a row from 1995-96.
A Mitchell representative side is also picked, with Mitchell taking on Lachlan and Macquarie over two days in Orange on October 20-21.
All matches in both the President’s Cup and Hartas Trophy will be 50 over games and will start at 10am.
n ORANGE: Trent Colley, Dave Boundy, James Conn, Luke Clarke, Lincoln Duncan, Matt Findlay, Liam Gough, Stuart Naden, Chris Novak, Josh Sands, John Warrington, Nick Wright.