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Teams take their mark in bid for the Bidwill Cup

There will unlikely be many early finishes in the new one-day format being trialled for Wairarapa’s premier cricket championship, which starts tomorrow.

Four teams – defending champions Burger King Red Star, Inspire Living Greytown, Lansdowne, and a Barbarians side – will contest the Bidwill Cup, to be played over two full rounds before Christmas, with the winner being the team with the most points. Unlike recent seasons, there will be no final.

The change of format allows teams to push for an outright result if they can bowl out the opposition twice within the 100 overs in the day’s play.

There are also bonus points [four batting and four bowling] across all innings played in an effort to give the district’s premier players the most opportunity to get time in the middle in preparation for the Furlong Cup [Zone Two Hawke Cup elimination series] games which are played over two days.

Defending champions Burger King Red Star captain Jeremy Anderson has welcomed the move after his side were involved in several one-sided games where the opposition were dismissed for paltry scores, and the games finished mid-afternoon, saying that it will prevent a repeat of last season and provide better preparation for the representative campaign.

Twelve points are awarded for an outright win, while a first-innings win is worth eight points.

Points are also earned for winning and losing draws when the first innings of the match is incomplete.

Red Star have retained the bulk of the squad that won last season’s championship and will arguably field the strongest batting lineup, headed by Post Office Hotel Wairarapa captain Robbie Anderson and other representative players in Jeremy Anderson, wicketkeeper-batter Nathan Elliott, and Mark Steventon. All-rounder George Deans, offspinner Trey Bidois, medium pacer Patrick Wootton, and veterans Jared Watt and Pete Sigvertsen will head the bowling attack.

The return of Seth Rance to the club scene will be a big boost for Inspire Living Greytown. Although the former Black Cap medium pacer is likely to limit his bowling loads as part of his long recovery from major shoulder surgery, he is more than capable of scoring big runs quickly. Little is known about the rest of the squad, although it is based around the side that has been a frontrunner in the Open Grade competitions in recent seasons, with the likes of Hayden Ray, Byron Hegglin, and Ricky Dey.

There is also an experienced core in the probable Lansdowne lineup, with the likes of all-rounders Robbie Speers, Jaco Vorster, Reece Hannam, Shamal Perera, and useful bowlers in Regan Fricker and the evergreen Sanjay Patel, as well as the possibility of Central Districts under-17 all-rounder Samuel Payne playing when he is free of his Wairarapa College commitments.

The Barbarians have been put together by Wairarapa coach Mark Childs to provide a worthy fourth team, and there is a real family look to it. Childs will be joined by his twin sons Ethan and Quinn and nephew Caleb Burling, while Malcolm Jaspers, sons Angus and Guy, and brothers Jack and Hugo Wakeling will pull on the whites for the side, which is also likely to feature some former representative players over the championship.

Greytown take on Red Star at Greytown, and Lansdowne and the Barbarians will meet at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval tomorrow, with the first balls to be bowled at midday.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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