With the first round of the re-branded NSW Premier Cricket competition commencing tomorrow (Saturday the 24th), the NSDCC selection panel has named some strong sides to face Hawkesbury in a one-day clash to begin the season. The full team selections can be seen here. All games begin at 9.30am.
In first grade at Owen Earle, debutants James Newton (Penrith), Anjan Oberai (Wests), Ben Bryant (Easts) and Kerrod Gordon (Hawkesbury) form the backbone of a youthful, talented batting lineup, led by long-time Bear Justin Avendano, who will be taking the reigns as skipper for the first time in his North Sydney career. The side has worked incredibly hard under the tutelage of Head Coach Jason Krejza, and everyone is raring to go for the clash. James Campbell and Oliver Knight form the spear of the fast-bowling attack, while Jake Lintott, back for his 3rd stint at the Bears from Hampshire, Ben Wallis and the evergreen Rob Aitken will be providing the spin options.
In second grade at Bon Andrews, the experienced Glenn Aitken will lead a side boasting plenty of experience in the form of his brother, James AItken, David Guthrie, Ronald Alexander and the returning David Barber. Young Bears Eknoor Singh and Alex Dolly will look to continue from their impressive 2nd grade results towards the end of last season, while the club welcomes Newcastle all-rounder Ryan Van Kemenade into the fold for his first game for the Bears, and wicketkeeper Adam Docos from Randwick-Petersham.
In third grade at Bensons 2, the inimitable Rob Lavery will lead a young and athletic side with last year's Green Shield captain Sam Isherwood making his middle grade debut in the middle order, along with another former Green Shield captain, Jack Thomas. Adelaide import Raj Premachandra will play his first game for the Bears, alongside English quick Jack Wood. The experienced Chris Lloyd will round out the middle order with McKenna and Graham rounding out the bowling attack.
In fourth grade at Tunks, firefighter extraordinaire Joe Clarke will make his captaincy debut, leading a youthful and athletic side featuring last year's Green Shield alumni Cooper Goddard with the bat and Nuwan Whyte with the ball. Anmol Singh, Mohkam Singh, Sarib Hussain, Shantanu Havele, Marcel Farquharson and Ben Leighton will all play their first game for the Bears, while NSW under 15s representative and Green Shield opening batsman Dhruva Thorat makes his 4th grade debut.
In fifth grade at Bensons 3, in-house DJ Alex Perry will lead a side with plenty of new and old faces and lots of bowling talent. Returning for another season, the self-styled 'Great Mahn' Jason Keane will be returning with the ball alongside firebrand quick Ali Shaikh and new additions Emad Alamgir and Mano Mahadevan. Spin will be provided by Michael Oliver and the ever-improving Ammar Shirazi, who will be taking on more responsibility in the middle-order. Former Green Shield product Matt Barry will return to make his full grade debut, as experienced Bear Joe Jenkins returns to the fold at the top of the order.
Best of luck to all the Bears that are taking the field this weekend, and let's get the season off to a cracker!