Bay of Plenty will start their campaign to retain the Hawke Cup when they play Hawkes Bay in two friendly matches at the Tauranga Domain this weekend.
While the matches are non-competition games with caps not awarded there is sure to be bragging rights on the line after Bay of Plenty defeated Hawkes Bay to win back the Hawke Cup last season.
Bay of Plenty won the New Zealand Cricket minor association prize for the fifth time, after defeating Hawkes Bay in a Hawke Cup Direct Challenge, at Nelson Park in Napier in March.
The match was a thriller with Hawkes Bay setting Bay of Plenty a target of 205, on the afternoon of day three. Led by a Ben Musgrave century the Bay got home to bring the Hawke Cup back to the Bay of Plenty
On Saturday, the two sides will meet in a 106 over (red ball) match and will back up the following day in a 50 over per side (white ball) encounter.
The Bay of Plenty selectors have gone for a myriad of experience, coupled with a number of promising youngsters still eligible for Northern District age-group tournament cricket.
Northern Knights Jono Boult and Brett Hampton know all about pressure cricket and have both racked up over fifty games in the Bay of Plenty uniform. Saturday skipper Peter Drysdale and keeper Tim Clarke are two others to earn the Bay baggy cap embroidered with the number fifty.
Brenton Thompson is a new face in Baywide cricket and made a real impression for Mount Maunganui in their first Baywide Cup match in October.
Luke Tatley and Gurwinder Singh both made their Bay of Plenty Development debuts last season with Saturdays match another step up for the talented youngsters. Sean Dykes, Jonty Grigson, and Alastair Blackett have all made their mark in Baywide premier cricket in the last twelve months, with Iman Singh who still attends Tauranga Boys College another young rising star.
Bay of Plenty v Hawkes Bay Warm-Up Matches @ Tauranga Domain 22/23 October - 10.30am start
Bay of Plenty Teams
Saturday (22 October) Peter Drysdale (C) Sean Davey, Ben Musgrave, Jono Boult, Brett Hampton, Stephen Crossan, Tim Clarke, Donavan Deeble, Campbell Thomas, Luke Tatley, Gurwinder Singh, Kyle Dovey.
Sunday (23 October) Tim Clarke (C) Sean Dykes, Cameron Neal, Brenton Thompson, Jonty Grigson, Jono Boult, Brett Hampton, Matt Golding, Alastair Blackett, Donovan Deeble, Brody Gilroy, Iman Singh.