Cricket: Black Caps to play for BOP

Kane Williamson will turn out for Bay of Plenty against Counties Manukau in this weekend's round of the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl tournament. Photo / Getty Images.
Kane Williamson will turn out for Bay of Plenty against Counties Manukau in this weekend's round of the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl tournament. Photo / Getty Images.

While there's plenty of turmoil going on among the top brass of the New Zealand cricket side, three current test players and a former international will turn out for Bay of Plenty against Counties Manukau in this weekend's round of the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl tournament.

Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and Daniel Flynn, who are all back in New Zealand following the Black Caps' 167-run test victory over Sri Lanka last week, will be joined by evergreen seamer Graeme Aldridge, who has also represented the national side.

With no domestic cricket scheduled for Northern Districts this weekend, the Fergus Hickey game, that will be played at the Bay Oval in Mt Manganui, provides the trio of incumbent Black Caps with a rare chance to play for Bay of Plenty.

Bay of Plenty Cricket chief executive Paul Read said it was great to see top-level players turning out for their provincial outfit.

"It's a unique opportunity to see our favourite Black Caps and Northern Knights in action for the Bay of Plenty team. The guys have had a long and tough international schedule over winter, so we're absolutely delighted they all agreed to play for the Bay team this weekend. It's a real testament to their character as players and people - and like many in the local cricket community, we're proud of them."

Aldridge will be playing his 43rd game in the blue and gold uniform, but due to his New Zealand and Northern Districts commitments, it has been six years since he last played for the Bay.

In just 17 games for BOP Flynn has blasted two centuries, posting an unbeaten 103 against Northland in 2003, followed by 119 against the same province in 2006.

Boult (10 games) and Williamson (12 games) both made their Bay of Plenty debut while still at high school.

To give the game a real edge, the final ND Hawke Cup Challenge points are on the line, with the winner of the annual series earning a Hawke Cup challenge in March next year.

While the Bay of Plenty side lead the standings from Northland, they must take at least first innings points from Counties to book a Hawke Cup challenge.

Bay of Plenty: Jono Boult (captain), Joe Carter, Peter Drysdale, Bharat Popli, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Graeme Aldridge, Daniel Flynn, Corey Anderson, Tim Clarke, Brett Hampton, Tony Goodin

- APNZ

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