ACT Cricket’s Director of Coaching and Education Aiden Blizzard has announced his Comets squad to take on UNSW with an eye on the future.
The former first-class cricketer assumed his new role on Monday, with this weekend’s fixtures marking Blizzard’s first coaching experience.
High-profile stars Blake and Jono Dean headline the squad, with the Weston Creek Molonglo pair partnered by Queanbeyan star Dean Solway.
“Jono has obviously got a Big Bash campaign coming up, and we’d love to see him play first class cricket. It’s great to have him around the group,” said Blizzard of the Adelaide Strikers batsman.
“He’s got a lot of experience, and we look forward to him sharing some of that experience with a lot of the young guys coming through.”
Blizzard has selected a number of talented youngsters, acknowledging that the role of Cricket ACT is to unearth future stars.
“We’re looking for the next talent to get on to a first class list or play some Big Bash cricket. There’s going to be quite a few changes [this year].
“We’re definitely looking to promote the younger guys and give them a great opportunity to take the next step.”
Australian Under 19 spinner Ben Taylor joins last year’s Prime Ministers XI squad member Mac Wright in Blizzard’s side.
Henry Hunt made his Comets debut last season, with Australian Under 19 Honours batsman to partner Australian Pathway Rookie top order batsman Matthew Gilkes in ACT colours.
Exciting Western Districts/UC and Australian Under 17 Honours batsman Blake MacDonald will follow in his father’s footsteps, with Darryle representing the Comets in the Mercantile Mutual Cup.
Blizzard expects that his side will take some time to gel, given the raft of changes in comparison to the side that took the field in last year’s Futures League competition.
“It’s a bit of an eye-opener this weekend. There’s three games, two Twenty20’s and a 50-over game, so we’re just looking to get a good hit-out outside on some turf.
“[It’s] a good opportunity for me to get to know some of the boys.”
The Comets squad currently houses around thirty players, with Blizzard expecting the side to be whittled down to sixteen with four rookies.
Blizzard’s Futures League squad will start to be moulded in to shape following this weekend’s games, ahead of their first official hit-out next month.
ACT Comets Squad vs UNSW:
Blake Dean (Weston Creek Molonglo), Jono Dean (Weston Creek Molonglo), Matt Gilkes (Western District/UC), Andrew Harriott (Tamworth/Northern Districts), Henry Hunt (Queanbeyan), Blake MacDonald (Western District/UC), Joe Slater (Weston Creek Molonglo), Dean Solway (Queanbeyan), Cameron Suidgeest (Ginninderra), Ben Taylor (North Canberra Gungahlin), Sam Taylor (Queanbeyan), Tom Vane Tempest (Tuggeranong), Mac Wright (Weston Creek Molonglo)
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR YABBA
(PHOTO: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP)