NSW Country selectors have chosen two squads of 14 players to represent the NSW Bush Blues and Breakers at the Toyota Australian Country Championships in Toowoomba from 2 to 12 January.
Seven players receive their first Country caps for the Bush Blues, including promising fast bowler Caelan Maladay, with five for the Bush Breakers.
Former ACT Meteors allrounder Kira Churchland is one of those debutants. She joins batter Sara Darney, allrounder Anita Handono, Kellsie Turner and Catherine Wood in the Bush Breakers squad.
Others who have been selected in the Bush Blues squad for the first time are batsmen Adam Berwick, Kerrod White, Aaron Wivell, pace bowler Ryan Brown, allrounder Michael Rixon and seamer Andrew Somerville.
Former NSW left-arm finger spinner, and Sydney First Grade legend, Anthony Kershler is the new Bush Blues coach for this year’s Championships.
Experienced off-spinner Nick Foster will captain the Bush Blues after leading Newcastle to the Male NSW Country title in mid-November, while the experienced Kate Jackson captains the Bush Breakers.
Last season’s Josh Hazlewood Medallist, as Male NSW Country Player of the Year, big-hitting allrounder Caleb Ziebell has also been named for the Bush Blues.
The Bush Blues have won the Male T20 title at the last two National Country Championships.
The Bush Breakers lost to Victoria Country in the semi-finals of last season’s championships and vice-captain Naomi McDonald will again be vital to their title hopes.
Last season, she made 210 runs at an average of 42 during the Country Championships and was named in the Australian Country Women’s Merit team.
It was the second successive year that Ziebell and McDonald had been named in the respective Men’s and Women’s Merit team.
Bush Blues squad
|Nick Foster ( c )||Newcastle|
|Chris Archer||Central Coast|
|Alec Baldwin||North Coastal|
|Adam Berwick||Greater Illawarra|
|Scott Burkinshaw||Central Coast|
|Tom Groth||Central Northern|
|Caelan Maladay||North Coastal|
|Michael Rixon||Central Northern|
|Kerrod White||Greater Illawarra|
|Caleb Ziebell||North Coastal|
|Anthony Kershler – Coach|
|Shane Burley – Assistant Coach/Manager|
|David Redden – Scorer|
|Llew Scott – Physio
Bush Breakers squad
|Kate Jackson ( c )||North Coastal|
|Sophie Heath||Greater Illawarra|
|Anita Handono||North Coastal|
|Tiegan Kavanagh||Central Coast|
|Joanne Kelly||Greater Illawarra|
|Naomi McDonald ( vc )||North Coastal|
|Kirsten Smith||Central Northern|
|Jackie Vickery||Central Northern|
|Neil McDonald – Coach|
|Carolyn Sheehan – Assistant Coach/Manager|
|Jessica Stoll – Physio|
|Allison Brockley – Scorer|