Warriors take on Highlanders in T20 Blitz opener
Cricket Scotland’s re-branded T20 Blitz gets underway tomorrow (Sun) and there should be fireworks when the Western Warriors host Caley Highlanders at Titwood.
Both outfits have named powerful squads who have a point to prove individually and collectively.
Several players in either squad are desperate to press their claims for promotion to the national set-up while both teams are equally determined to bounce back from recent defeats to the Eastern Knights in the CS Pro50 Cup.
Warriors player-coach Con de Lange can call on three in-form batsmen who recorded centuries on the opening day of the Western Premier season in Clydesdale’s Mo Awais, Ferguslie’s Michael English and Neil Smith of Ayr.
But Caley have their own explosive hitters in skipper Craig Wallace, his Forfarshire team-mate Matty Parker and established Scotland all-rounder Safy Sharif.
De Lange, who will captain the Warriors side in the short form of the game, declared: “It is always exciting to start a new campaign.
“The T20 format is enjoyable and most players look forward to performing in this form. Our side will relish the challenge.”
There could be a debut for the hard-hitting former Kilmarnock batsman Fazal Jawal who has made an impressive start to life in the top flight of the Western Premier with Prestwick.
De Lange added: “We are looking to include players with the required skills and the willingness to learn and improve.
“Fazad shaped up well during training and will help create healthy competition for positions in the Western Warriors squad.”
Caley again include Chris Venske, Chris Greaves and Bruce Ditchmen, all born overseas but all eligible or approaching eligibility for Scotland.
There could also be a place for Forfarshire youngster Christian Robertson.
Western Warriors: C de Lange capt, M Awais, N Smith, O Shah, R Berrington, N Flack, M English, F Jawad, A Sabri, S McElnea, M Rao, H Tahir, I Malik.
Caley Highlanders: C Wallace capt, M Parker, C Venske, C Greaves, S Sharif, S Cameron, M Petrie, L Sweeney, B Ditchmen, A Neill, R Brown, C Robertson.
By Cricket Media, Photos Ian Potts