Wade Park, be ready.
The Orana Outlaws may not look the same on paper this season but coach Jason Ryan has promised the defending Plan B Regional Bash’s champions won’t change their approach.
The Outlaws played enthralling and big-hitting Twenty20 cricket on the way to winning last season’s NSW Country Cricket title but will begin its defence this season without grand final-winning captain Nathan Pilon and Australian Country representative Jordan Moran.
“We’ll play the same way we have the last couple of years and that’s typical Dubbo and Western Zone cricket – all-out attack,” Outlaws coach Jason Ryan said.
“That’s what we do and we do it pretty well.
“We’ll still be putting our foot down from the word go and trying to score as many as we can.
“Then we’ll just bowl tight lines and we’ve got some good seamers who have been there the last couple of years and done that before.”
With the competition scrapping the marquee player system this season the Outlaws own’t have former Sheffield Shield player Nathan Pilon making the trip from Victoria while Moran is out after undergoing surgery on a broken thumb last week.
Exciting youngster and Australian under 16s player Brock Larance has been called in, along with Western Zone trio Jordan Peacock, Darrel Williams and Henry Railz while Ryan will take on a playing role to replace Moran as wicketkeeper.
“There’s still enough experience in the side to make do and a lot of the blokes have learnt a lot the last couple of years so we’re well and truly up for it,” Ryan said.
We’ll still be putting our foot down from the word go and trying to score as many as we can.Jason Ryan
“Losing Jordan hurts that (attacking style) a bit but when you call in guys like Brock and Jordy Peacock you don’t lose a great deal.”
Greg Buckley has been named as captain in Pilon’s absence.
Ryan said he had no doubt Pilon would have played had marquees been allowed again.
“Greg has been involved with the side for years and has played a lot of Twenty20s in England before he came over,” Ryan said.
“We had about four or five blokes and any one of them could have done the job but he can lead the side and there’s experience around him blokes like from Mitch, Will Lindsay and myself.”
The Outlaws will take on Thunder Conference rivals Central West Wranglers, ACT Aces and South Coast Crew this weekend.
The winner of the round robin tournament will go on to play the Wagga Wagga Sloggers, winners of the Sixers Conference, in the grand final at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on December 10.
Ryan, unsurprisingly, said the star-studded Aces outfit shapes as his side’s biggest hurdle for a third straight trip to the SCG.
They Outlaws and Aces will clash on Sunday morning, following on from a Saturday night clash with the Wranglers under lights.
The weekend finishes with a Sunday afternoon match against the Crew.
The Outlaws’ 12-man squad for this weekend is predominantly made up of Dubbo-based players while Anthony Heraghty and Jacob Harvey both play in Parkes.
- ORANA OUTLAWS: Greg Buckley ©, Brock Larance, Jordan Peacock, Anthony Heraghty, Mitch Bower, Ben Patterson, Henry Railz, Jacob Harvey, Jason Ryan, William Lindsay, Darrel Williams, Ben Strachan