Local trio to headline at Bay Oval

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Trent Boult in action for the Black Caps against South Africa at Bay Oval last year. Photo/File
Trent Boult in action for the Black Caps against South Africa at Bay Oval last year. Photo/File

International cricket will take centre stage next week at Mount Maunganui's picturesque Bay Oval.

Following the successful hosting of two ODIs against South Africa last year, the spectator-friendly arena has been allocated two more matches by NZ Cricket in what is hoped will be an annual allocation of international matches.

The Black Caps will take on Sri Lanka on Tuesday in the fifth and final ODI of the ANZ series before the teams meet two days later in the first Twenty20 game.

Three Mount Maunganui residents in new captain and top batsman Kane Williamson, left arm pace bowler Trent Boult and all-rounder Corey Anderson will be in action for the Black Caps.

Williamson and Boult are in both squads, with Anderson picked for the Twenty20 match as a batsman only as he continues his comeback from a back injury. He has been in top form with the bat for the Northern Knights, scoring a rollicking 88 from 87 balls against the Auckland Aces in Hamilton on Wednesday.

Williamson captained the Black Caps against Sri Lanka in Nelson yesterday and will lead the team on Thursday in the Twenty20 match. Brendon McCullum is likely to be back at the helm on Tuesday, which will be his final appearance at Bay Oval. He retires from international cricket after the second test against Australia in February.

Boult has been rested by New Zealand cricket for the opening four ODIs against Sri Lanka but will play at Bay Oval on Tuesday. His performances against South Africa at the venue last year played an important role in him making the final World Cup squad where he went on to be the tournament's joint-leading wicket taker with Australian Mitchell Stark.

Doug Bracewell's inclusion alongside Williamson and Boult in the ODI squads will see the three former Bay of Plenty junior reps playing together back in Mount Maunganui for the first time in more than a decade. Williamson attended Otumoetai Intermediate and Boult and Bracewell Tauranga Intermediate. Williamson and Bracewell go back even further having been in the same class at Pillans Point Primary School.

The Black Caps appearances next week are just the start of a busy schedule at Bay Oval.

The three-game ODI series between the White Ferns and Australian women's sides takes place in February. Former Bay of Plenty captain Anna Peterson has been awarded a New Zealand Cricket contract this season and is set to play for the White Ferns.

Bay of Plenty's best men's players are in action during January, February and March as they attempt to win the Northern Districts Fergus Hickey Rosebowl for the 15th time. The Bay team includes Northern Knights stars Jono Boult, Bharat Popli, Joe Carter, Brett Hampton and Tony Goodin.

Northern Knights take on Canterbury in a Ford Trophy clash on January 20.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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