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Team captain and owners at the draft on Sunday night.
Camera IconTeam captain and owners at the draft on Sunday night. Credit: Cameron Newbold

Former Albany all-rounder Julian Crudeli has become the prized No.1 selection in the inaugural Southern Smash T20 draft, which had a distinct local flavour on Sunday night.

A total of 56 players were selected for the premier Twenty20 competition that will be held later this month in Albany, consisting of franchise teams Retravision Warriors, Camtrans Bulldogs, Elders Avengers and Inswing Inswingers.

Crudeli became the first player picked in the Southern Smash, snared by the Warriors to kick off the marquee round of the draft.

In total, 16 marquee players were selected, the hard-hitting Bevan Bennell (Bulldogs), ex-Middlesex player Tom Scollay (Avengers) and Albany-bred Shayne Wornes (Inswingers) joining Crudeli as first picked for their respective sides.

A premiership player with Railways locally, Crudeli has spent time with grade clubs Midland-Guilford, Rockingham-Mandurah and is now playing for Wanderers in Geraldton.

Late inclusion and former WA Country XI captain Rodney Ford was taken by the Inswingers, who also netted local products Chad Hitchcock and Dan Rees.

Brothers Aaron and Damien Burrage were both among the marquee selections along with Perth’s Luke Jury and Zain Ul Hassan.

Former Albany residents Michael Ferriera and Tim Hutchison were taken at pick 10 and 13 respectively by the Bulldogs and Patrick Butler found his way to the Avengers with pick nine.

In total, 20 Albany & Districts Cricket Association players were taken in the draft, headed by Mt Barker’s Jeremy Wood who was the first pick of round 1.

With each team required to select two under-19 players for the tournament on December 27 and 28, wicketkeeper Aidan Dallimore was the highest-ranked youngster taken by the Avengers with selection 25.

The draft was done on a points-based system and each team has a squad of 14 to select from.

Before the draft, captains were allocated to each team. Nathan Crudeli will lead the Warriors, Coen Marwick will captain the Bulldogs, Inswingers will be led by Ryan Kinnear and the Avengers will be under the care of Nathan Dovey.

Team owners for each of the sides are Russell Hare (Warriors), Geoff West (Bulldogs), Adam Pumphrey (Inswingers) and Neill Liddle (Avengers).

Event organisers have been unable to confirm star pair Craig Simmons and Simon Mackin, after last week holding hope they would be part of the competition.

Full squads for the inaugural Southern Smash T20 will be named in Thursday’s Advertiser.

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