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