The Govani Maestros and the Hunter Hurricanes will open the 2019 Windmill Whack at noon this Sunday. With all franchises having been re-drafted for the 2019 campaign there is an unfamiliar look to all of the sides in action this Sunday.
The ‘Canes will be led by Mark Schofield this term, and he put together a solid looking roster at the Draft Night in March. While he is missing experienced all rounder Rob Bannister this weekend, he can call on other all round talent with Louis Pickering, Ollie White and competition debutant Dan Simpson in his line up. Scott Fisher, Max Carter Miller, who remains from previous Hurricanes campaigns, and Rohan Mayor make up a formidable seam attack, while Ben and Ray Calder, Jordan Tigg and keeper James Ramsden should provide the runs.
New Maestros skipper Nicky Ison has named a very strong looking line up for Sunday’s curtain raiser as he looks to lay down a marker for the season. As well as himself he has a plethora of all rounders within the side as Andrew Kennedy, Alan Ison and Glen Noller all line up for the Maestros. Alex Ward and Alfie James will add some flair to the batting line up, Russell Murphy will be tidy and sharp behind the stumps and Billy Wright will be looking to tie down the ‘Canes batting with his bowling. Matt Malby, Stewart Hammond and Joe Simpson will ensure the tally of pints sunk by the Maestros is towards the top end of the table.
Match 2 (at 3.00pm) sees the Apple Finance Firebirds take on the Kushoom Bugh Tigers. The ‘Birds have gone for an entirely different approach this term as they look to shed the image built up in previous campaigns. Franchise boss Kev Heazle has called upon experienced first teamer John Curtis to take charge of team affairs, and despite his previous captaincy record the ‘Birds are confident of a positive campaign. Curtis had a very clear plan at the Draft Night in March, as he pulled together a handful of top quality proven first teamers and mixed this with a number of the club’s most promising youngsters (plus one or two characters to keep morale high). Sunday does see a couple of high profile players missing from action, but with Terry Wyatt, Mike Rath and the in form Sam Twine all in the side Curtis will be confident. He will have plenty of options with the ball with debutant Luke Williams lining up alongside Ellis Pickering, Ollie Woods and veterans Aalok Latey and Don Triggs, and he even has options with the gloves with both Nathan Brown and Class of ’96 returnee Rob O’Brien in the side.
It is difficult to know what to expect from the Tigers this season, although it is certain that the Whetstone brothers will need to do most of the running in the field!! Mark D’Cruz’s “Threes Reunited” plan at the Draft Night may come back to haunt him or could prove to be an inspired tactic. The squad contains a lot of experience and nouse, but also a lot of old limbs and large stomachs. D’Cruz also needs to contend with the fact half of his squad won’t be allowed to play in half of the games, and this has left him without many options for Sunday’s opener. Including himself, D’Cruz includes five members of last season’s Roots’ title winning squad for the game with the ‘Birds, and he will be hoping that Julian Whetstone, Jamie O’Dell, SEAN Richardson and Harry Jenkins can pile up the runs. With the ball Russ Savidge, Kevin Roome, Rob White and Chris Ryan will provide variety and Connor Whetstone may prove to be the ace in D’Cruz’s pack.
The last team to enter the fray will be the Root 66ers, and they will have to wait until 29th May to take to the field. The Roots claimed the title last season, but have a very new look about them for 2019. With the Limn Brothers, Rob Mack and Josh Lamont in their squad they do have title winning pedigree but may lack the depth to retain their crown.
All members, colts, colts parents, social members and Vice Presidents are encouraged to come along to any of the WW fixtures through the summer to enjoy the action.
Updated 07:47 - 20 May 2019 by Paul Middlemiss