Firebirds v CD Stags
HRV Cup T20
By Anendra Singh
WITH THE visa clearance out of the way and the blessing of his home cricket association, Kyle Jarvis has returned to New Zealand to find himself in the hot cauldron of Twenty20 cricket on Boxing Day.
The Zimbabwe international yesterday arrived in Auckland where he is visiting his mother who lives there before jetting to the Basin Reserve on Wednesday to join the Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags for the Boxing Day HRV Cup match against the Wellington Firebirds.
"Kyle wanted to come back and he was keen to compete," CD coach Alan Hunt said last night of the 23-year-old who made his first-class debut for the Stags in the four-day Plunket Shield competition.
Jarvis, son of former Zimbabwean international Malcolm Jarvis, will make his debut in the T20 competition on Wednesday but, at the end of the HRV Cup campaign, will also don whites for two shield matches against the Canterbury Wizards and the Auckland Aces.
The right-arm, fast-medium bowler joined the Stags towards the latter half of the shield campaign at the end of last summer after a win-less tour with Zimbabwe early this year.
The Mashonaland Eagles player, who former Zimbabwe internationals Heath Streak and Alistair Campbell fast-tracked into their national squad, has the ability to bowl up to 145km/h.
The former Under-19 World Cup strike bowler had a penchant for tickling the rib cage of top-order batsmen before he injured his lower back.
Jarvis was part of the Pretoria Cricket Academy, alongside Proteas bowler Marchant de Lange, when Streak and Campbell approached him to play for Zimbabwe.
A "totally different" side to the previous two losing rounds but with "more balance", the Stags welcome back a rash of walking wounded - captain/allrounder Kieran Noema-Barnett (calf tear), legspinner Tarun Nethula (dislocated shoulder), ex-Black Cap wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk (finger) and speed merchant Adam Milne (hamstring strain).
Stand-in skipper Jamie How will hand the reins over to Noema-Barnett while Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay premier wicketkeeper Ben Smith comes into the equation but more as a back-up to Van Wyk or in case "some batsman falls over".
Hunt had put Nethula through a training and fitness test on Saturday and he had come through it fine, although there was the question of time out on the crease.
"Tarun's been in Auckland through his rehabilitation and doing some fielding and bowling so he's a professional guy who is fit and ready to go."
He felt Van Wyk was also a tough guy who would be back into the fray.
Veteran Jacob Oram, who announced at the weekend he was no longer a New Zealand Cricket-contracted player, should be a starter too.
The 34-year-old, who left on the morning of the match against the Firebirds at McLean Park, Napier, in the last round because of a virus, doesn't believe he can commit to focusing fulltime on playing for the Black Caps and the obligations that go with having an NZC contract, although he hasn't totally ruled out playing for his country again.
Oram, who has played 33 tests, 160 ODIs and 36 T20 internationals over 12 years, is about to become a father for the second time.
Once considered Black Caps captaincy material, he will effectively become a mercenary for T20 tournaments globally when not playing domestically for CD.
His first assignment will be in a Bangladesh tourney next year.
"Jake's been training so he's fit and well," Hunt said. "He's been a fantastic servant for CD and New Zealand over a long time so he has earned the right to be doing those sorts of things in the twilight of his career."
He said Oram's decisions were centred around his future and fatherhood "so he's going out on his own terms".
CD have their own share of demons to exorcise on Boxing Day, finding themselves on the wrong side of the ledger against homeboy Jesse Ryder.
Hunt said the Stags bowlers hadn't responded well when Ryder went after them. CD have lost both shield games to the city slickers and a T20 match with Ryder assuming the mantle of slayer.
Having said that, Hunt said the last thing CD wanted in trying to resurrect their T20 campaign was inclement weather following them from Basin Reserve to Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.
The Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags v Wellington Firebirds sides to play in the HRV Cup
Twenty/20 match at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, from 3pm on Boxing Day:
CD STAGS (from): Jamie How, Peter Trego, William Young, Mathew Sinclair, Kieran Noema-Barnett (c), Carl Cachopa, Kruger van Wyk (wk), Jacob Oram, Adam Milne, Tarun Nethula, Marty Kane, Kyle Jarvis, Ben Smith.
WELLINGTON FIREBIRDS (from): Jesse Ryder, Michael Pollard, Michael Papps, Luke Ronchi (wk), Grant Elliott (c), Luke Woodcock, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tamim Iqbal, Chris Woakes, Dane Hutchinson, Mark Houghton, Harry Boam.