Chance for the next wave of cricket stars to shine in third edition of Albany’s Southern Smash T20 event

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Marquee player from Southern Smash #2, Brad Hogg.
Camera IconMarquee player from Southern Smash #2, Brad Hogg. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The third edition of the Southern Smash might not have the same star quality that we saw last year, but regional WA’s premier Twenty20 tournament is sure to entertain.

Having a player of the quality of Brad Hogg as the major drawcard at last year’s Smash was terrific and it helped raise the profile of the event even more.

The Smash has grown so much in just two years, from a coffee table idea to a fully fledged tournament with six teams.

Smash organisers deserve some credit for how far it has come in such a short space of time.

You will look at the teams this year and not find the likes of Hoggy, Travis Birt, Tom Beaton and Josh Nicholas.

However, among the 72 players that will pull on a team shirt, there are still some of WA’s best metro players and a crop of extremely talented regional cricketers — and they are mixed in with a host of local talent.

The lack of real top-end State talent paves the way for some of Albany and the wider Great Southern’s best cricketers to shine on what is now a fairly big stage.

Elders Avengers at last year’s tournament.
Camera IconElders Avengers at last year’s tournament. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Games will be shown on the cricket stream called Frogbox and the competition, now in its third year, has more eyes on it than ever before.

What I love the most about the Smash is the atmosphere and what a spectacle it creates.

It’s outstanding cricketers playing in coloured clothing with white balls and with a determination to take wickets in a hurry or score runs quickly.

The cricket precinct in Albany is perfectly set up for the hive of activity that is the Smash; three grounds operating with six teams in action leaves spectators spoilt for choice.

An additional under-21 game will again showcase some of regional WA’s best young cricketers and those two fixtures will be an eye to what we may see in future years of the sport.

If anything, this year’s competition looks extremely even and predicting the four semifinalists, let alone a champion, will be tough.

Last year it was fantastic to see so many kids and families get along to watch the teams in action, and the excitement will continue with this crop of Smash players.

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