Following its unsuccessful tilt at the McDonald’s Country Cup Bathurst is back in its own backyard on Sunday, when the Western Zone powerhouse will take on traditional rivals Orange in the second round of the Mitchell Cricket Council President’s Cup.
A fortnight ago Bathurst had its Country Cup run ended in the semi-finals but is gunning to continue its President’s Cup dominance.
You have to go back to November 2013 to find the last time Bathurst lost a match in the competition, a defeat which came courtesy of the then Matt Findlay-led Blue Baggers.
Bathurst will be doing so with a drastically different side though, skipper Jameel Qureshi, Matt Stephen, Ben Orme, Aaron Seymour, Derryn Clayton and Dan Casey are all unavailable.
Mike Waldren plus Wayne and Dave Sellers come into the team to bolster the batting stocks. The young bowling duo of Ben Parsons and Luke Powell have also been called up to represent their city.
“We’ve got two great young bowlers coming in. I think it’s a positive thing for Bathurst and a good test of our future,” Bathurst quick Matt Fearnley said.
“I’m familiar with Ben Parsons as he’s from my club [at St Pat’s]. He came into Bathurst cricket in [BDCA] President’s Cup, then ended up in second grade and now that he’s cracked first grade he’s representing Bathurst.
“No matter where he’s gone he’s made an impact.”
Bathurst has won its last two matches against Orange, the latest of which was a comfortable seven-wicket win in December of 2015.
A lot can obviously change in 13 months but with Bathurst’s recent Country Cup run – and plenty of talent on hand to fill the spots of absent players – the team will go into Sunday’s game confident of finding a win.
Fearnley said it’s refreshing for Bathurst District Cricket Association to have selection headaches for their representative side.
“We’ve probably got 30 guys who are putting their hand up to play for Bathurst and I think that’s a credit to the work done by Dan [Casey] and Jameel [Qureshi],” he said of the former and current captains respectively.
“We have a group together who are really hungry for success. Everyone in this team is a match winner.
“With guys like Ben and Luke making their way into the team it’s a sign of what’s to come. If we can get the win on Sunday then it will make other young players even more eager to try and play for Bathurst.”
Orange has already played its opening match of the Presidents Cup, losing by six wickets to the Blue Mountains in November.
Bathurst will travel to play the Blue Mountains on January 29 for the series’ last game.
Sunday’s match gets underway from 10am.