TAMWORTH and Central North cricket officials are preparing for a busy representative carnival start to the new season this long weekend.
The best young cricketers from Under 21 to Under 13 level in the region will bowl and pad up for two major junior carnivals on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The annual JS White Colts Carnival, the annual Under 21 selection trial for the Northern NSW Under 21 Emu side, and the Edenglassie Shield will head the October long weekend, with teams from Northern Inland, Hunter Valley, North Coast and Mid North Coast competing for not only the Edenglassie Shield and Emu selection but an added selection prospect, Central North Zone chairman Terry Psarakis said.
“It will not only be the annual Emu selection trial but we will also be selecting a combined Central North/North Coast Under 19 side for the State carnival at Campbelltown on November 13/14/15,” Psarakis, who is also the Emu treasurer, said.
“It’s a huge start to the new season for these talented young players.
“We will have the best young cricketers in the region here vying for spots.
“At this stage we’re not sure what the Canterbury Country touring itinerary is but we do know there won’t be a three-day Boomerang Trophy Test match.
“We’re hopeful there will be a couple of One Day Internationals between the touring Kiwis and the Emus though.
“Added to that is the selection trial for the Central North/North Coast Under 19 side for the State Carnival.
“Last season we had seven from the Central North in that side.
“Four of that side – Matt Brady (Gunnedah), Chris Holland (Moree), Angus McNeil (Muswellbrook) and Harrison Kelly (Tamworth) – are available again.”
While the Kiwi touring side is headed to the region, so too are Sydney Thunder’s Luke Doran and Gurinder Sandhu.
They are part of a Country Blitz Tour where members of the Sydney Sixers and Thunder Twenty20 teams head bush to promote the game.
Doran and Singh, a recent Australian Under 19 team member, will be in Moree, Narrabri, Gunnedah and Tamworth from October 17 to 19.
“They fly in to Narrabri on the 17th,” Psarakis said, “then travel to Moree for school visits.
“Next day they travel back to Narrabri and run some clinics, with a twilight match that evening.
“Then they drive to Gunnedah the next morning for a clinic with Years 5-10 at Gunnedah High, have a luncheon there and then head to Tamworth for a community mega clinic at Dick Edwards Oval.
“They’ll also help out with the in2cricket registrations and a junior Twenty20 game to start the Friday junior cricket.”
It’s also a big start to the new season for Psarakis’s son James, who flies out next month to the United Arabs Emirates with Moree’s Max Houlahan and their Australian Under 16 teammates.
Michael Weatherald will coach the side with Ian Landy the manager.
The Australian Under 16 side plays senior UAE first grade teams in its nine-game tour after flying out on October 6.
“We go down to Sydney on the 3rd and the boys train together at the SCG,” Terry Psarakis said.
“Then they go down to Bowral for two days, training and playing a game as well as being presented with their baggy greens.
“That will be a thrill for them before they head back to Sydney and then fly out.
“The tour is going to be a huge thrill for them all and something completely different.”