Coun­try calls Crosby

Albany Advertiser - - SPORT -

Top-or­der bats­man Nathan Crosby will make his de­but at the Aus­tralia Coun­try Cricket Cham­pi­onships af­ter be­ing a late call-up to the WA Coun­try XI side for their cam­paign in Shep­par­ton, Vic­to­ria, start­ing to­day.

Crosby, who plays for Mt Barker, was con­sid­ered stiff to miss se­lec­tion in the trav­el­ling team of 14 that was named last month af­ter a bril­liant start to the sea­son, which pro­duced 697 runs at an av­er­age of 58 across all for­mats and teams.

How­ever, the with­drawal of Rod­ney Ford for per­sonal rea­sons left se­lec­tors with the task of call­ing an emer­gency into the tour­ing party and Crosby was given the nod.

He is one of five Great South­ern rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the WA Coun­try XI side, coached by Al­bany’s Tim Ed­munds as they aim to bet­ter their three-win 2018 tour­na­ment.

In the lead-up, the WA Coun­try XI played in the WACA Premier T20 com­pe­ti­tion and Crosby blasted 91 not out from 48 balls against Univer­sity and also made 40 against Su­bi­aco-Floreat. Ed­munds said he was the ideal re­place­ment for Ford. “Nath is the log­i­cal re­place­ment,” Ed­munds said. “His form in the WACA T20 games was ex­cep­tional, his 91 re­ally stood out for us and he’ll come in and play a role in the top or­der prob­a­bly at num­ber four.”

The tour­na­ment be­gins with a T20 com­pe­ti­tion and then switches to one-day games with ti­tles up for grabs in both as well as an over­all ti­tle.

WA face NSW this morn­ing in their open­ing match be­fore tak­ing on Queens­land this af­ter­noon, Vic­to­ria to­mor­row and then

South Aus­tralia on Satur­day be­fore the fi­nal on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

With scorch­ing tem­per­a­tures pre­dicted, in­clud­ing 44C to­mor­row, Ed­munds was hope­ful his side could start well and make the most of play­ing just one game on both Fri­day and Satur­day.

“We have two big games (to­day), they are pretty defin­ing,” he said.

“We didn’t start well last year so if we can play well against NSW and Queens­land that will set us up.”

Bats­man and vice-cap­tain Zane Mar­wick (Rail­ways) will shoul­der plenty of bat­ting re­spon­si­bil­ity for the side while Jeremy Wood (Mt Barker), Pa­trick But­ler (North County) and Nathan Crudeli (Rail­ways) will also play big roles.

“Zane will open the bat­ting in the T20s and bat in the mid­dle or­der in the one-day­ers but he has got his best tour ahead of him,” Ed­munds said.

“Nath Crudeli is our most se­nior pace­man and will be part of a strong at­tack; he’s in­jury free and ready to bounce back.

“Woody gives us an all-rounder op­tion, will bat in the mid­dle or­der in both for­mats and can be so ef­fec- tive with the white ball in one-day cricket. Patty has shown how ef­fec­tive he can be, his skill and vari­a­tion was missed last year and he is a proven per­former.”

The one-day games be­gin on Mon­day with WA fac­ing Vic­to­ria and then clash with Queens­land on Tues­day.

Cameron New­bold Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Three of Al­bany Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion’s five rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the WA Coun­try XI Zane Mar­wick, Jeremy Wood and Nathan Crudeli.

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