The Western Imperial Razorbacks will hit the crease for the first time on Saturday.
The Pilliga-based club have joined the Narrabri competition this season and will field sides in both first and second grade.
“During the off-season the Pilliga Cricket Association approached the Narrabri association and floated the idea of the association coming in as a club,” Narrabri District Cricket Association president Brendon Ward explained.
Their inclusion will bolster first grade to a five-team competition for the first time in “in a long time”, as Ward put it.
He said “Impys”, as they are being referred to, will be a great addition, and expects them to be quite competitive especially in first grade with the side predominantly the Pilliga side that made the final of the MA Connolly Cup last season.
“They’ve done a lot of work. Their president Ty Baker has done a good job of getting it off the ground,” Ward said.
He noted that they have got quite a few good juniors out there, and believes they’ve got the depth to “have a really good shot at the first and second grade titles”
They won’t have any first grade home fixtures due to the lack of a turf wicket, but the hope is that that will change in the future.
Ward anticipates they will be quite an explosive batting line-up.
The challenge will be adjusting to the longer 45-over-a-side format and understanding the different way that the ball moves on turf.
He and his Tatts side will get their first look at the newcomers on Saturday.
They go in as the defending champions and are shaping up pretty well, he said.
While Rod Kirk has retired, Chase Magner has come back after a couple of years away from sport altogether.
“He very excited to pull the whites back on,” Ward said.
He will be a “genuine all round option”.
Jelany Chilia is also ready and raring to go.
The Vanuatu representative linked up with the club mid-way through last season and turned the grand final in their favour with a man of the match-winning 6-21.
“It will be good to have him for full season. We very pumped to have him while he in Narrabri,” he said.
He won’t be there for the opening round though after being named in the Northern Inland Bolters squad for their Plan B Regional Big Bash pool games in Port Macquarie.
Civeo skipper Lachlan Cameron will also be away with the Bolters, meaning he is unavailable for their clash with Crossroads.
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