Hamil­ton Star Club keen to shine

Hamilton News - - SPORT -

Hamil­ton Star Univer­sity of Waikato Cricket Club starts the new sea­son with a for­mer fast bowler at the helm and a Premier team cap­tain with a cou­ple of sum­mers’ ex­pe­ri­ence to call on.

The univer­sity-based club’s top team will this year be led by El­liot San­ter, the young all-rounder’s third sea­son in charge.

A fourth-year engi­neer­ing stu­dent, Sant­ner says the club has re­cruited a num­ber of bright prospects for the three up­com­ing Hamil­ton Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Premier com­pe­ti­tions.

Sant­ner has been part of the club’s re­cent Richard Do­dun­ski Tro­phy wins in T20 cricket, but says the pin­na­cle of Hamil­ton Premier cricket is to com­pete in the How­den Cup — a three-day fi­nal at Sed­don Park which is the cul­mi­na­tion of the Eddy Marr Bowl two-day round robin com­pe­ti­tion.

“I’ve been for­tu­nate to win one How­den Cup — in 2013-2014. I got a score in the 90s to help us claim the ti­tle in a rain-af­fected match against Melville,” says Sant­ner.

“But we haven’t been in that show­piece match for a cou­ple of years and the guys are keen to make a state­ment this year.”

The univer­sity club ben­e­fits from the Sir Ed­mund Hillary Schol­ar­ship Pro­gramme and this year’s team will fea­ture Hillary Schol­ars James Field and Caleb Boswell-smith: Boswell-smith hails from North­land, and has rep­re­sented the dis­trict, but will play a rea­son­able chunk of the sea­son for the univer­sity club.

Off-sea­son re­cruit­ing has also se­cured the club age-group rep­re­sen­ta­tives from other parts of the North­ern Dis­tricts Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion catch­ment. Ex­pe­ri­enced Premier crick­eters Arnie Yu­garaja and Steve Rae will also play for the club’s top team again this sea­son.

Both fea­tured in the club’s two T20 wins on the open­ing day of the sea­son last week­end — wins over Old Boys and Melville.

The club will field its usual four teams in Hamil­ton’s club cricket com­pe­ti­tions, and new pres­i­dent Greg O’car­roll — a for­mer Premier fast bowler who de­buted for the club in 1990 — says the HSUCC has aims to grow in women’s and ju­nior cricket ar­eas.

“We want to see the club mem­bers en­joy their cricket and play it in the spirit it is meant to be played — com­pet­i­tive but fair,” says O’car­roll, who also works at Waikato Univer­sity. “Ob­vi­ously the ul­ti­mate is win­ning ti­tles, but if we can play com­pet­i­tively and in the right spirit then we will be do­ing a lot right.

Draw­ing on stu­dents, the club’s rich and var­ied mix of cul­tures and back­grounds and O’car­roll says should be cel­e­brated.

“In­clu­sive­ness is im­por­tant to us,” he says. “In re­cent years we’ve had a lot of guys from In­dia, Pak­istan and Afghanistan play for us, plus re­cruits from other cricket na­tions like Eng­land, South Africa, Zim­babwe and the West Indies.

“We want to be the cricket club of choice for Univer­sity of Waikato stu­dents.”

HSUWCC has a fo­cus on player de­vel­op­ment and path­ways — in­clud­ing co-own­er­ship of a three­net cov­ered fa­cil­ity on the univer­sity cam­pus — and cel­e­brate the suc­cess of any who go on to higher hon­ours.

The club is also work­ing to fur­ther de­velop its re­la­tion­ship with the Univer­sity of Waikato, with the ul­ti­mate aim of es­tab­lish­ing a qual­ity home play­ing ground on the univer­sity cam­pus.

■ In­ter­ested play­ers are al­ways wel­come, and can find the club’s group page on Face­book — or email cricket@hsucc.co.nz

Photo / Sup­plied

Hamil­ton Star Univer­sity of Waikato Cricket Club’s Premier crick­eters Arnie Yu­garaja and cap­tain El­liot Sant­ner talk tac­tics dur­ing the side’s T20 games.

Photo / Sup­plied

Hamil­ton Star Univer­sity of Waikato Cricket Club Premier cap­tain El­liot Sant­ner bowls dur­ing re­cent T20 ac­tion.

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