HE didn’t have the final hit-out he probably would have liked but Kris Halloran will head to next week’s Imparja Cup in great touch.
The North Tamworth allrounder has been one of the form players since the new year, with last Saturday’s 10 a rare occasion he’s missed out.
Since the resumption from Christmas he would have scored more than 250 runs and at least three half-centuries in that.
He’ll be hoping to continue that up in Alice Springs as NSW chases a third successive national title.
It will be Halloran’s fifth time away to the Imparja Cup.
“Last time I went we (NSW) won it,” he said.
That was two years ago.
“It’s always a good week,” he said.
Even if it is usually hot and humid, although they generally play games early in the morning or late at night to combat that.
This year will mark the 20th year of the Imparja Cup.
Tennant Creek and Alice Springs staged the first Imparja match on Australia Day in 1994.
Four years later Northern Territory Cricket was enlisted to expand the tournament and Cricket Australia certified it as an official national
It now boasts 38 teams – male and female – and has become an important pathway for indigenous cricketers.
So much so that Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell will travel to Alice Springs for the tournament to canvass the country’s indigenous talent.
“Cricket Australia’s search for talented cricketers spans the country and the Imparja Cup provides a week-long advertisement for our nation’s indigenous cricketers,” Chappell said.
Halloran will be joined in the NSW side by State U19s rep and Tamworth team-mate Harrison Kelly and former Tamworth skipper Jeff Cook, who will lead what is a strong squad.
Ten of them are returning from last year’s championships.
The side was selected late last year but, unlike previous campaigns, hasn’t had any warm-up games.
“We’re going up underprepared,” Halloran said.
“In saying that, a lot of the guys are playing grade in Sydney.
“They’ve all got a bit of cricket under their belts.”
Northern neighbours Queensland loom as the biggest threat to their title defence.
“The Queensland team look quite handy. They’ll definitely be one to beat,” Halloran said.
“They’ve got a few guys who played Shield cricket and 2nd XI.”
That will present a good challenge.
Halloran has been dogged by the hangover from a shoulder injury he picked up over the off-season but said, batting-wise, things have been pretty good.
His scores certainly indicate that.
“It’s still a bit dodgy in the field but it’s slowly coming together,” he said.
He’s probably just been a bit inconsistent, something he’ll have the opportunity to rectify next week.
The tournament will be prefaced by the annual ACA Masters and Black Caps match at Traeger Park on Sunday with the competition proper getting underway on Monday.
All the games will be Twenty20s and the first couple of days they’ll play twice daily.
The final is next Saturday.