Stars of the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder BBL and WBBL teams will travel to all points of regional New South Wales and the ACT, starting next week, for the annual Cricket NSW Country Blitz.
Each Big Bash club will drive its own initiatives in different parts of the state with 36 players involved, including several NSW Blues and Breakers.
The Blitz takes place over two weeks, from 3 to 5 September and 10 to 12 September, visiting 18 regions including local schools and junior clubs.
Sixers captain Moises Henriques and Steve Waugh Medallist, Blues and Sixers paceman Sean Abbott headline the stars.
Ten of the players have represented Australia, at International level, including Henriques, Abbott, recent Test debutant Kurtis Patterson, Thunder allrounder Naomi Stalenberg and Blues captain, wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.
Sixers players will visit regions North of Sydney during the first week as part of the Community Blast driven by Toyo Tyres. The Thunder will conduct its Regional Tour of Southern and Central NSW across the two weeks and will include a Junior Super Clinic in the small regional town of Gilgandra, approximately 45 minutes from Dubbo.
In the second week, Thunder players such as off-spinner Arjun Nair will visit the Central West, and Nathan McAndrew and Jay Lenton will visit the South Coast of NSW.
Emerging young stars Jack Edwards from the Sydney Sixers and Thunder batsman Jason Sangha are also involved in the Blitz, visiting the Hunter and Illawarra.
Last season, the teenagers burst onto the domestic cricket scene in the One-Day Cup and Sheffield Shield competitions for the Blues.
They scored their maiden Shield centuries within minutes of each other at the SCG and Edwards became the youngest batsman to score a One-Day domestic century in Australia when he peeled off 116 against Queensland.
Newly contracted Thunder wicketkeeper, batter, Tahlia Wilson, 19, will join Sangha in her home region of the Illawarra.
Wilson was named the best female player in NSW Women’s Premier Cricket last season after a prolific campaign with the bat.
She scored 471 runs for her club, St George-Sutherland, at the astonishing average of 235.5. Her achievements also earned her the Alex Blackwell Medal as Female Country Player of the Year.
Blues rookie Ollie Davies, 18, is another exciting Thunder teenager involved. Last season, he scored an incredible 207 from 115 balls as captain of NSW Metro at the Under 19 National Championships, which was the first one-day double century in tournament history.
His knock included 17 sixes, and the rare feat of six in one over.
General Manager, Community Cricket, Ivan Spyrdz, said the Country Blitz is a fantastic opportunity for Sixers, Thunder, Blues and Breakers players to connect with the wonderful cricket communities throughout regional NSW.
“For many regions, this annual event signifies the cricket season is open and ready to go for the year ahead,” said Spyrdz.
“Many of our regional cricket communities have been doing it tough over the last few years and we hope that having some of our players travelling to their regions provides them with a boost in spirits.”
“The players enjoy it, our Cricket NSW staff enjoy it, and we do it because we value the work our cricket volunteers do. It’s a small thank you to the volunteers who do a magnificent job in running cricket in regional NSW.”
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