Four high profile country teams will be fighting for a chance to play on the Sydney Cricket Ground when they clash in the opening round of the Plan B Regional Bash this Saturday and Sunday.
The Hunter Hitmen, Newcastle Blasters, Central Coast Rush and Illawarra Flames, who make up the Sydney Sixers’ Maitland Pool, all have a chance to book a place on the hallowed turf in a big weekend at Robin Oval and Lorn Park.
A new round robin format will see each team play three matches across the two days, with the leading side going straight through to the Sixers conference final as part of a big finals day at the SCG on December 10.
The winners of the Sixers and Thunder conference finals will then go on to play each other under lights for the Plan B Regional Bash title.
The Hunter Hitmen will attempt to overcome their round one hoodoo when they kick off the third edition of the Plan B Regional Bash on Saturday.
In the first season they lost a super over to the Blasters and then last summer suffered a one-run defeat against the same opponents.
The Blasters and Flames have each earned a place on the SCG during the past two seasons. However the Flames lost the Sixers conference final two years ago and the Blasters lost the Sixers conference final last year.
The Rush have a greater challenge ahead of them, having never made it past round two under the old knockout format.
The Hitmen will be relying heavily on the Trappel brothers Josh and Matt, Luke Stewart and Jacob Montgomery
The Flames’ key players are NSW Country representative Kieran Gray and Jarrod Collis.
Nathan Price, captain of the NSW Indigenous (Imparja Cup) team headlines the Blasters’ playing line-up, with NSW Country Representative Joe Price, who is no relation, and Ben Balcomb.
The Central Coast Rush have former NSW allrounder Simon Keen, NSW Country Representative Scott Burkinshaw and cagey spinner Chris Archer.
Plan B Regional Bash – Maitland Pool
Saturday 2pm - 14th October
Hunter Hitmen v Illawarra Flames Robins Oval
Newcastle Blasters v Central Coast Rush Lorn Park
Sunday 9.30am - 15th October
Hunter Hitmen v Central Coast Rush Lorn Park
Illawarra Flames v Newcastle Blasters Robins Oval
Sunday 1.30pm - 15th October
Hunter Hitmen v Newcastle Blasters Robins Oval
Central Coast Rush v Illawarra Flames Lorn Park
For all your Plan B Regional Big Bash news visit: http://www.regionalbash.com.au/