Highlanders face Knights in Regional Series
Reformed Caley Highlanders will bid for a winning start to their CS Pro50 Cup campaign when they entertain Eastern Knights at Forthill.
It looks a sizeable task for Graeme Beghin’s side given the standards set by the start-studded Knights who opened with a convincing win over Western Warriors last weekend.
However, Beghin, though a newcomer to his role as coach, believes his squad can recapture the team spirit and unity which contributed to their success under Neil MacRae before the region was combined with the Knights to compete in the now disbanded North Sea Pro Series.
Beghin said: “The Highlanders have a strong history and the new format has been widely welcomed by the players.
“The team will feature the best club players in the region and we have the added bonus of being able to call on contracted players such as Craig Wallace, Safyaan Sharif and Kyle Coetzer.
“These guys have tremendous experience of playing at the top level and we will approach each game in an attacking frame of mind – that’s the way our captain Craig Wallace plays.”
Beghin, from Cape Town, fields a number of naturalised Scots who are keen to stake their claim for international honours, having qualified through residency.
The coach’s fellow South Africans, Chris Greaves and Chris Venske, are among them along with Australians Brock Ditchmen and Brendan Ford.
Meanwhile Knights coach John Blain will ask his men to build on last week’s winning start.
The recently appointed Scotland pace bowling coach saw plenty to admire in the 46-run defeat of the Warriors and said: “I think we clicked really well as a team although the regional competitions are also about giving individuals a platform.
“We have players who are very keen to show the selectors what they can do.”
Blain’s side shows two changes with Ewan Chalmers replacing George Munsey and Chris Sole boosting the pace bowling stocks at the expense of Chayank Gosain.
Caley Highlanders: C Wallace capt, K Coetzer, M Parker, C Greaves, C Venske, B Ford, M Petrie, S Sharif, C Ramsay, A Neill, B Ditchmen, B Wilkinson.
Eastern Knights: A Brock capt, E Chalmers, R Flannigan, N Farrar, P Mommsen, D Budge, A Baum, M Watt, H Aslam, R Routray, A Evans, C Sole, P Ross.