SIMON Norvill and Ben Middlebrook are scheduled to play together for Old Boys in their Tamworth first grade clash at Dick Edwards Oval today but against each other at Gunnedah’s Wolseley Park tomorrow.
Today they are hoping to lead Old Boys to a second win in the TDCA first grade with a limited overs (40) win over North Tamworth Redbacks.
Norvill will skipper that side with Middlebrook, who has returned for another stint at Old Boys after playing in his home town Gunnedah last season, his valued deputy.
Tomorrow, Norvill will skipper the Tamworth side for the first time when it plays Gunnedah in a War Veterans Cup match in Gunnedah where Middlebrook and Troy Sands are the co-captains.
“That will be a good challenge too,” Norvill said on Thursday night.
“I’ve always had a good rivalry with Ben.
“He played a couple of years with us in the Tamworth side but then has been playing for Gunnedah.
“We do get along very well and that should make the game even more enjoyable.”
Bragging rights will be heightened because of their proximity to each other every Saturday.
Norvill blasted his way back into batting form last Saturday.
Today and tomorrow the talented top-order bat is hoping to reproduce last week’s century success against City United in the clash with North Tamworth at Dick Edwards Oval today and tomorrow’s War Veterans Cup match.
Last season wasn’t the best for the bearded batsman.
“I struggled a bit,” Norvill recalled.
“But I feel good this year.
“I had a good hit-out in a trial game and felt good last Saturday.
“I saw them well although there are a couple of spots I have to improve on.
“I just hope that keeps up this weekend.”
He’s delighted to have been handed the captaincy for Tamworth even though Nick Pearson or Tom Groth would have held the reins bar for wedding commitments.
“It was a surprise,” Norvill said.
“It should be good fun though.
“And it should be a close game too – we had a couple of close ones against Gunnedah last season.”
As captain of Old Boys, he’s confident the club can turn around last year’s ordinary season.
Old Boys’ success is linked greatly to Norvill’s batting efforts.
If he fires, then most likely so will they.
“We’re looking pretty good too,” he said of a club which struggled for quantity and quality in its playing ranks last season.
“We’ve picked up a few players from Attunga and they showed some promise last week,” he said.
Brett Fisher, Chaise Crough and Paul Abra have all been named in the Old Boys side today and, along with the likes of young spinner Will Chesterfield and seamer Will Howard, will ensure the Redbacks have a tough game on their hands at Dick Edwards Oval.
Howard, in particular, is a key man for Norvill, both today and tomorrow.
The lanky young pace bowler is one player Norvill hopes can take the next step up the representative rung.
“He’s usually on the spot and bowls with good pace,” Norvill said.
‘This (Sunday) is a good chance for him.
“He’ll probably take the new ball on both Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s a real big chance on Sunday to show what he’s got and cement a spot in the rep side.”
He said the return of Aaron Hazlewood was a big bonus for both Old Boys and Tamworth.
Norvill also hopes a couple of seasons of baseball will help him out this cricket season too.
“I started playing a couple of years ago,” he said.
“I played with Knights but then they folded last season so I played with Gunnedah to give them a few more numbers.
“I had a real good year this season, had fun with the Gunnedah boys.
“A few of them play club cricket over there but I don’t think they play rep stuff.
“The baseball has helped me too, particularly with my throwing,” he said.