The Bay of Plenty representative cricket team embark on their 22nd Hawke Cup Direct Challenge when they square against Hamilton today.
The three-day match will see the Bay of Plenty side attempt to win the symbol of minor association cricket in New Zealand for just the fourth time since the Bay challenged South Auckland in 1932.
Bay of Plenty goes into their most important assignment in a number of seasons with a team having plenty of minor association cricket experience.
The return of Ben Williams, who is in his first season of coaching the Bay first XI, will add experience to the side.
The genuine allrounder, who first made his Bay of Plenty debut a decade ago, brought up his 50th game in the Bay of Plenty uniform last season. With more than a thousand runs and sixty wickets, Williams is a player who leaves little petrol in the tank, when he takes to the field for the Bay. He is just one of two Bay players to post a century and take six wickets in an innings in a Bay of Plenty game.
With regular captain Jono Boult on Northern Knights duty, opening batsmen Peter Drysdale will lead the team in the Hawke Cup encounter. Drysdale is in great form and last weekend posted his second Baywide century of the season, when he blasted an undefeated 114 for Mount Maunganui.
Another in fine touch is Bharat Popli, who posted his fifth Bay of Plenty century against Waikato Valley two weeks ago. The talented batsman claimed the all-time list of most Bay centuries as his own, when he blasted an unbeaten 126.
Occasional Northern Districts' quick bowler, Tony Goodin leads a team of talented Bay bowlers.
New Zealand under-19 bowler, Sean Davey returns to the team from injury, with Williams, Mitch McCann, Brett Hampton and Dale Swan giving the side plenty of firepower with the ball.
Katikati College player Brody Gilroy will have the experience of his short cricket career, having being selected as the Bay of Plenty 12th man for the match.
The bowling star of the future has had an outstanding season in Bay of Plenty age group cricket.
Gilroy has also earned Northern Districts representative honours.
Bay of Plenty v Hamilton
Bay of Plenty side for Hawke Cup Direct Challenge
Peter Drysdale (captain), Dale Swan, Tony Goodin (Mount Maunganui), Joe Carter, Scott Steward, Sean Davey (Cadets), Mitch McCann, Ben Williams (Te Puke), Brett Hampton (Greerton), Alex Oakley (Tauranga Boys' College), Bharat Popli (Rotorua Indians), Brody Gilroy 12th man (Katitkati College)
Not Available Northern Knights Jono Boult (Cadets).
Coach: Ben Williams
Manager: Ian Boult