The message from team manager Paul McCarthy to his young charges jetting off to the indoor cricket junior provincials in Christchurch comes across blunt but he doesn't want them or the parents to be alarmed.

"I told them if you don't win then you'll be walking home," says a jovial McCarthy.

All McCarthy was trying to impress on the Hawke's Bay Under-15 boys' team is they have the credentials to do the job at the Action Indoor Sports Hornby and newly refurbished Howzat Indoor Sports Stadium from today to Monday.

It is the Mike Pawson and Luke Kenworthy-coached team's second year in the age-group grade


The Thirsty Whale-sponsored U17 and another U15 development sides also will competing in a field of a record 28 teams in six pools in a tourney that embraces U17 girls and U13 boys.

More than 300 teenagers from the Canterbury, Wellington, Auckland, Central, Northern and Southern districts will descend in the Garden City.

"There is an excitement among the team and a big expectation in a couple of the teams," says McCarthy of the teams who will be representing the CD region, suspecting other major areas such as Manawatu and Taranaki haven't got teams there.

The U15 team has marquee players, such as Sam Cassidy, Josh Fairbrother, Baylee Foote, Toby Findlay, Liam McCarthy, Sam Pawson and Lovepreet Pradda, who are vying for places in the national team to compete in the Junior World Series from September 29 at the same venue. Australia, England, Singapore, South Africa and Sri Lanka are expected to be in the field although the number of teams have yet to be confirmed.

Brayden Hill, Seth Taylor and Cale Watts will put their hands up for the Bay U17s while Charlie Pawson and Kulwant Singh Brar are in the U13s equation.

The Bay U13s won the crown last year in Lower Hutt but have graduated as the Bay U15 Development side this year.

Tyler Annan trains with the Hawke's Bay junior indoor cricket teams in Napier. Photo/Duncan Brown
Tyler Annan trains with the Hawke's Bay junior indoor cricket teams in Napier. Photo/Duncan Brown

"The under-17 boys are a new team with exciting players who are very good [in the outdoor format]," he says of cricketers such as Joey Field and Logan Trower.
Last year the Bay didn't field an U17 team.

"Indoor cricket focus has really improved players' fielding skills and their allround batting and bowling skills," he says of the 1hr 15m affairs played over 16 overs each and each batting partnership face four overs. All players bat and bowl.


McCarthy says the indoor code puts greater emphasis on partnerships than the outdoor format.

When the campaign requires $30,000, he says, expectations emerge on the foundation of players' calibre. The money was raised over four months.

The U15 team won the U13s crown two years ago and finished runners up in the U15s grade last year.

The coaches will keep an eye out to see which boys will champion leadership qualities at the height of battles.