New faces for Whalers in Country Cup title tilt

Cameron Newbold and Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Albany Cricket Association will unveil four debutants and a new captain as they aim to break a 30-year drought in the Toyota Country Cup Twenty20 finals this weekend in Perth.

The ACA has not won the Country Cup since the 1987-88 season when the competition was a 50-over format and has been runner-up on six occasions since 1995 including the most recent in 2014-15 when they fell short by net run rate of 0.09 per cent.

Four debutants have been named in the squad of 12 while prolific batsman Zane Marwick will take the reins as captain with regular Whalers skipper Ryan Kinnear unavailable.

Kinnear is one of four omissions from the Whalers side which breezed past Upper Great Southern in the qualifying round last month.

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Qualifying round hero Nathan Dovey, who smashed a 44-ball century, is the most notable absentee while young all-rounder Harry Broomhall and batsman Jesse Spaanderman are also unavailable for selection.

Albany will take on West Pilbara, Geraldton and Bunbury for the cup, which will be decided on Sunday and Monday after the round-robin Twenty20 format.

First-time captain Marwick said Albany was still presented with one of their best opportunities to finally win the competition despite the key omissions including recent hero Dovey.

“First of all it’s an honour to be given the reins of the Albany first XI,” he said.

“Its been a long time since we’ve won this and it would be a fantastic effort to take it out.

“We’ve got a great squad and have added some more depth to our batting.

“We are going there to prepare well and will look to win the tournament.”

The four newcomers include Railways all-rounder and WA Country representative Jeremy Wood and North County wicketkeeper-batsman Neil Ferreira.

Former Zimbabwean cricketer Ferreira will make his long-awaited first XI debut for the ACA alongside sons Michael and Matthew, who have also shown their pedigree with classy centuries this season.

Michael Ferreira smashed 163 from 162 balls representing Midland-Guildford in the WACA under-17s competition a fortnight ago while twin brother Matthew notched his maiden A-grade century this season against Denmark.

Marwick said the side had terrific balance and would look to play an aggressive brand of cricket.

“Just about everyone can bowl and bat which is great,” Marwick said.

“You can swing the changes and in Twenty20 cricket you are never not in the game.”

Albany face West Pilbara at 12.15pm on Sunday, take on Geraldton later that afternoon, and meet Bunbury at 9am on Monday with all games at Breckler Park.

ACA Squad: Zane Marwick (C), Nathan Crudeli, Coen Marwick, Craig Tonkin, Matt Walters, Jeremy Wood, Neil Ferreira, Michael Ferreira, Matthew Ferreira, Ben Grey, Brendan Grogan, Tim Edmunds.

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