Hutchison labels Avengers the team to beat
This year’s winning WA Country XI captain Tim Hutchison believes Elders Avengers start warm favourites to take out the inaugural Southern Smash T20 title, with the exciting new Albany-based competition starting tomorrow.
A strong mix of top-level country cricketers and premier players will join a host of Albany and District Cricket Association players for the first Southern Smash that will be played at the North Road grounds across Friday and Saturday this week.
Hutchison, who led WA to title success at the Australian Country Cricket Championships, says rival team Elders Avengers are the ones to beat in what he describes as a “brilliant” regional Twenty20 competition.
Four teams, captained and owned locally, have drafted squads of 14 players for the round robin T20 competition that involves coloured playing tops, white balls, games under lights and the two top teams meeting off in Saturday’s grand final.
Drafted as a marquee player by the Camtrans Bulldogs, ex-Albany resident Hutchison says the Southern Smash is the envy of many regional cricket associations.
“The local guys that have organised it should be commended,” Hutchison said.
“There is a lot of unknown but it’s such a good idea and one all other country associations are jealous of.
“You have good cross-sections of players from different country regions, good premier cricket players and Country XI guys.
“Elders have got a really good side, they did well with their (marquees) and getting (Jeremy) Wood is huge. Camtrans have got really good batting depth and our side has got plenty of big hitters.”
Former Railways all-rounder Julian Crudeli is the No.1 pick in the competition, playing alongside younger brother and captain of the Retravision Warriors Nathan Crudeli.
Hutchison said former Middlesex player Tom Scollay and Netherlands national under-age representative Vikramjit Singh are both players to watch.
“Singh is only 16 and bowls very fast,” Hutchison said.
“Scollay is a serious batsman and bowls very useful off-spin in T20s, he and (Patrick) Butler will be tough to get away.
“It is also great to see so many former Albany players come back to their home in Rees, Wornes, Hitchcock etc.”
There has been one team change with Simon Harvey replacing Michael Bailey in the Bulldogs side. Each team plays each other once before the top two teams meet in Saturday’s grand final at 4pm.
2019 Southern Smash fixtures
Retravision Warriors v Elders Avengers - 11am at Turf North
Inswing Inswingers v Camtrans Bulldogs - 11am at Turf East
Camtrans Bulldogs v Retravision Warriors - 3.45pm at Turf North
Elders Avengers v Inswing Inswingers - 3.45pm at Turf East
Albany Whalers v Southern Smash All-Stars - 7pm at Turf North
Inswing Inswingers v Retravision Warriors - noon at Turf North
Camtrans Bulldogs v Elders Avengers - noon at Turf East
Grand Final - Top two teams - 4pm at Turf North
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