NEW faces, returning faces and a stack of old faces – Orange’s opening representative team of the 2016-17 summer oozes class and experience.
The blue-baggers take on Cowra at Country Club Oval on Saturday in both sides’ opening McDonald’s Cup campaipn.
The McDonald’s Cup is a NSW Country Cricket wide knock-out tournament that incorporates a similar format to the one used for the old SCG Cup.
Orange District Cricket Association chief of selectors Dave Boundy has named a strong 11 for Saturday’s clash against the Nick Berry-led Cowra squad, with Cavaliers gun Richie Venner skipping the side.
Former Western Zone batsman Nathan Rosser is back in the fold, while his Orange City teammate Jock Cartwright, who impressed with limited opportunity with the willow last summer, smashing 104 not out in his second game of first grade.
Both will add plenty of power to the top order.
CYMS’ grand final centurion Hugh Le Lievre is in the first XI as well, as is classy wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Corben.
Boundy was positive about his side’s chances on Saturday in the side’s first 50-over hit out of the summer, with the idea of building off last season’s confidence building seven-wicket pummeling of Dubbo in the Western Premier League.
“There’s definitely plenty of experience there,” Boundy said.
“Nathan Rosser tends to thrive at the next level. Hughy is in there and Richie as well. Having that leadership amongst the group will benefit the side.”
Boundy believes it’s crucial Orange continues to develop as a side.
“And I guess that comes down to experience; knowing how to handle parts of the game and how to rise to the occasion,” he elaborated.
Cowra will be a difficult assignment though, given the likes of Nick and Tim Barry and quick Jacob McNaught will be in the line-up.
Western Zone slugger Mick Curtale is also, Boundy says, a chance of taking part in the McDonald’s Cup opener.
In the corresponding game last year, Orange bowled Cowra out for 127 and looked set to chase the total relatively comfortably until a collapse with the bat netted a 22-run loss.
“Looking back, we crumbled mid-innings and never recovered,” Boundy said.
“We can’t afford to do that, particularly in this competition. It’s a knock-out, so one slip up and that’s it.”