How a Bendigo Premier Cricket team could look
ADDY colleague Travis King has this week put on the agenda the prospect of a Bendigo-based team playing in the Premier Cricket competition.
The feedback on such an idea has been encouraging from both the Bendigo cricket fraternity and the Victorian Cricket Premier League.
With the Bendigo Premier Cricket concept now open for discussion, it begs the question of what a first XI representing the city may look like, so I've put on my selectors hat.
1. Cameron Taylor (Strathdale) - one of the elite all-rounders of the BDCA who opens the batting and provides a leg-spin bowling option. Has Premier Cricket experience at Richmond.
2. Ben Gunn (Bendigo United) - spent three years down at Footscray in Premier Cricket, scoring tons in both the first and second XI, before returning to Bendigo. Still only 25 years old and one of the best BDCA players to watch in full flight. Also a handy medium-pacer.
3. Andrew Chalkley (Richmond) - made the move from Strathdale down to Richmond last season, scoring a century in his two-day debut. Likes to get on with it with the bat. Another left-hander at the top of the order.
It's a handy side if Rooey is batting at No. 9.
4. Tim Welsford (Carlton) - OK, so this is probably a long-shot, but Welsford is a former junior with Kangaroo Flat. He's captain-coach of Carlton and has played at the top level with Victoria. If I can't get all-rounder Welsford, I'll bat Jono Davidson at No.4.
5. Matt Pinniger (Bendigo United) - I bet Mattress would have loved a Bendigo Premier Cricket team during all those years he was making the trip down the Calder to play for Melbourne. Haven't seen a lot of him in recent years, but still a very damaging batsman and knows what Premier Cricket is all about.
6. Heath Behrens (Bendigo United) - couldn't pick a Bendigo team without Puggo in it. Has done it all in Bendigo cricket and spent the best part of 20 years batting at No.3 for Bendigo United. But at the ripe old age of 34, I'll take a bit of pressure off him and slip him in at No.6 in this team.
7. Linton Jacobs (Strathdale) - The Wiz can have the keeping duties and also bat in the middle-order. Like the fact that he's flexible with where he can bat, having played key innings for Strathdale-Maristians both in the middle and at the top of the order. Three-time Suns' premiership captain.
8. Adam Burns (Kangaroo Flat) (c) - like Behrens, there's nothing Burns (pictured) hasn't accomplished in a distinguished career in the BDCA. One of the premier all-rounders in the competition who has captained the BDCA for the past five years. Played a season of Premier Cricket with Geelong back in 2005-06. Happy for Burnsy to captain this side.
9. Ben DeAraugo (Strathdale) - arguably the best big-game player in the BDCA. The bigger the occasion, the more he seems to thrive, so Premier Cricket should be right up his alley. It's a handy side if Rooey is batting at No. 9.
10. Craig Howard (Sandhurst) - at 39 is the elder statesman of the team, but his wealth of experience would be invaluable and still gives BDCA batsmen a hard time with his wily off-spinners.
11. Richard Tibbett (Richmond) - the strike bowler has made the step up to Premier Cricket with Richmond this season. At his pace and with the extra bounce down in Melbourne, would be a handful.