Tickets for the upcoming T20 Black Clash are on track to sell out at record speed.
The match, to be held at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval on January 20, will feature four players from Tauranga.
The latest local additions are Jason Spice playing for Team Rugby, and Gareth Hopkins for Team Cricket.
Spice and Hopkins join Tauranga-born All Blacks coach Scott Robertson, who was announced as Team Rugby’s manager, as well as Tauranga-based former New Zealand cricketer Colin de Grandhomme, who had already been announced for Team Cricket.
Spice is a jack of all trades: a former Northern Districts Cricket rep, as well as a former Hurricanes and Blues halfback.
Former New Zealand cricketer Hopkins - known for his prime batting as well as his slick wicket-keeping skills - will be making his Black Clash debut.
Event director Carlena Limmer said 90 per cent of tickets had already sold and the 2024 event was on track to sell-out before Christmas.
Last year’s event sold out two weeks before the game with locals who expected to buy tickets on the day missing out.
General admission adult and children tickets as well as family passes were still available for this summer’s match.
However, corporate hospitality, Diamond Terrace general admission, and the 18+ Garden Party were sold out.
the brand continued to grow, and ticketholders could expect both teams to be “super competitive to the last ball”.
“I think many have been surprised at how well the rugby guys can hustle on the cricket pitch,” she said, with Kieran Read alone this year scoring over 80 runs, taking three wickets, two catches and being instrumental in a run-out.
Local men Chris High and Evan Gray would be the scorer and the third umpire on the national stage, respectfully.
In September, rugby great Richie McCaw and Brendon McCullum’s son, Riley, were named for Team Rugby and Team Cricket respectively.
Kieran Read’s Team Rugby also secured West Indies legend Brian Lara while Team Cricket announced last month that NRL legend Johnathan Thurston would be their wildcard.
The first five matches of the annual series came down to the last over, with Team Cricket edging the series 3-2. The Black Clash annually attracts more than one million accumulated viewers on TVNZ 1 and sells out every year.
Hot Springs Spas T20 Black Clash in association with Wolfbrook confirmed players:
Scott Robertson - Manager
Kieran Read - Captain
Brian Lara - Wildcard
Daniel Vettori - Captain
Johnathan Thurston - Wildcard
Colin de Grandhomme
Cira Olivier is a social issues and breaking news reporter for NZME Bay of Plenty. She has been a journalist since 2019.