Wood declares WA hungry for more country champs glory

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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The successful Great Southern players at last year’s championships.
Camera IconThe successful Great Southern players at last year’s championships.

Newly appointed WA Country XI men’s captain Jeremy Wood is hoping he can lead from the front when the side begin a quest for back-to-back titles at the Australian Country Cricket Championships, which start in Toowoomba tomorrow.

Wood will lead the WA men’s side, which contains fellow Albany and Districts Cricket Association representatives Nathan Crudeli and Coen Marwick, as they attempt to replicate their success of last year in winning both the one-day and overall shields.

In what promises to be a gruelling tournament with 11 consecutive days of cricket and no rest day, WA will first play Twenty20 games, before the championships switch to one-day cricket.

Wood said it was humbling to lead an extremely talented WA side that was capable of bringing home the silverware again. “This is a massive honour for me — you don’t get many opportunities like this and I’m looking to do quite well over there,” the Mt Barker captain and Kendenup farmer said.

Jeremy Wood in action for WA Country XI last year, he will captain the side in the championships starting tomorrow.
Camera IconJeremy Wood in action for WA Country XI last year, he will captain the side in the championships starting tomorrow. Credit: Dylan Burns/Dylan Burns Photography

“No WA team has gone back to back, so that’s what we are striving to do and it’s a bit exciting.

“We have a great bunch of blokes and they all have big roles to play.

“We’ve got to manage the guys.

“It will be full-on.”

WA begin with T20s against Victoria and South Australia tomorrow before facing New South Wales and newcomers the Australian Capital Territory on Saturday.

Wood said the inclusion of Albany-raised all-rounder Julian Crudeli and classy first-grade batsman Calum How was a major boost for his team.

“Jules coming back in with bat and ball is huge for us,” he said.

“Calum is a class player and hopefully he can lead us from the top. That’s where it all starts, and of course, Burra (Aaron Burrage) is an All-Australian from last year.

“It’s good to see players coming out of Albany cricket doing well.

“Coen and Nathan will offer us a lot on this tour; they are guys who will get their hands dirty for the team.”

The women’s division starts on Sunday, with Great Southern duo Hannah Felton (Albany) and Georgie Middleton (Mt Barker) part of the WA team that begins its campaign against East Asia Pacific.

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