Bathurst’s Jameel Qureshi never made any secret of how much enjoyed his time as Centrals’ Royal Hotel Cup marquee player, but now the former Hawkesbury top grader will be helping plot the red and blacks’ downfall.
Qureshi has linked with St Pat’s Old Boys for this summer’s edition of the tournament – largely considered Western Zone’s strongest Twenty20 competition – and will clash with his former teammates in Friday night’s opening game.
There’s no doubting how big a pick-up Qureshi is for the Saints, considering 2018-19 is their first crack at the day-night tournament, and also how big a loss the Central West Wranglers’ skipper is for Centrals.
He played two games for the red and blacks last season and while he didn’t make a huge impact with bat or ball his leadership was invaluable, and he’s been a proven performer in the competition before.
He didn’t play in 2016-17 but the season before he all but single-handedly led the red and blacks to the grand final, the further they’ve progressed since the competition changed from 40 overs-a-side to T20.
Qureshi was only dismissed once during that campaign, pummeling two unbeaten half-tons and finishing with a whopping average of 154.
However under the rules that year marquees weren’t allowed to feature in the play-offs, and without him Centrals were eventually hammered by Cavaliers in the decider after progressing through the semi-final thanks to multiple washouts.
He bolsters an already-blockbuster Saints’ roster, that includes the likes of Adam Ryan, Nic Broes and Connor Slattery – all of whom will feature for the Wranglers in this summer’s Plan B Regional Bash.
They face Centrals from 6.30pm on Friday night under the bright lights of Wade Park, before facing Kinross, Orange City and perennial powerhouse Lithgow in their remaining pool A matches.
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