Redbacks regain Bendigo cricket star

A FIVE-TIME premiership player in Bendigo United Cricket Club’s first XI, Chris Pinniger is returning to the field this season to lead the second XI.

One of the leading batsmen in the club’s long history, Pinniger took a break from playing last summer.

A highlight through his lengthy career was leading BUCCs to the drought-breaking premiership victory against Bendigo in the 1999-2000 season. The club had not won the first XI final since 1937-38.

Pinniger’s return to the field is one of few changes to the on-field leadership as Bendigo United gears up for the 2012-13 season.

After leading the first XI to last summer’s grand final, Leigh McDermott was reappointed captain-coach.

The all-rounder has played a key role, most notably with the ball, during the club’s successive run of first XI grand finals.

Marcus Smalley is assistant coach and will again lead the first XI attack with Miggy Podosky.

The third XI, which was runner-up last summer, will again be captained by Scott Macumber.

Club president David Bicknell said the Brougham Arms Hotel had signed on again as major sponsor, while Reuben Beazley Builders and Top End Training Company were two new significant backers.

Grand finalists the past three summers, Bendigo United and Strathdale-Maristians meet in round one on October 6-13 at Kennington’s Harry Trott Oval.

Although it’s enemy territory, there are fond memories for Strathdale-Maristians which has beaten BUCCs in the past two grand finals at that venue by 94 runs and 34 runs.

The 2009-10 decider between the clubs ended in a one-run victory for the Matt Pinniger-led Bendigo United.

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