The highly popular Regional Big Bash Twenty20 competition returns to Maitland bigger and better in 2018.
Maitland will host a full weekend of huge hitting and fielding heroics as the Hunter Hitmen take on arch rivals the Newcastle Blasters and teams from Illawarra and Central Coast in a round robin tournament on October 14-15.
The Hitmen, who feature Maitland and Hunter players, have not progressed beyond the first round of the statewide series after falling twice in the previous two encounters against the Blasters.
This year’s tournament format will give the Hunter team the chance to challenge themselves against the best Twenty20 players from Illawarra and Central Coast teams in games at Robins Oval and Lorn Park.
Hitmen skipper Matt Trappel said the change in format was an exciting development and would allow more fans to catch games across the weekend.
“From a playing perspective it will be great to get to challenge other teams after we failed to progress from round one in the past two competitions,” Trappel said.
“I’m sure Illawarra and Central Coast are going to be great challenges, but after the two narrow losses to the Blasters we really want to claim Newcastle’s scalp.”
The Maitland and Discrict Cricket Association season starts on October 7 and the association is yet to finalise how it will schedule games to avoid teams with Hitmen representatives from being disadvantaged by missing players.
The majority of the Hitmen’s 20 member squad are current or former Maitland players with now Newcastle based members including Trappel’s brother Josh, Josh Callinan, Josh Geary, Liam McKechnie and Jacob Montgomery.
City United players Nick Bower and Anru Kriel joining Trappel in the squad, while Northern Suburbs also has three representative Mitch Field, Lincoln Mills and Luke Stewart.
Kurri Weston has Tim Harding and Josh Tuckwell, and Raymond Terrace Jacob Page and Mitchell Pinch in the line up. Western Suburbs skipper Aaron Mahony, Eastern Suburbs’ Lucas Sargent and Port Stephen Pythons’ Jarrod Moxey, from the A-grade competiton, round out the Maitland contingent.
Singleton’s Jacob Carey and Cessnock’s Bryce Element complete the line-up.
Source: The Maitland Mercury
Author: Michael Hartshorn