Local players take on Sydney squad

THE sound of leather on willow returns to Rabjones Oval at Murwillumbah this weekend when the Campbelltown-Camden Cricket Club plays a Northern Rivers Invitation XI in limited-overs matches.

The Sydney-based squad contains a number of players who have made New South Wales representative squads including talented leg-spinners Nathan Brain and Nathan Castelli.

These two are sure to get plenty of bowling over the weekend as selectors are on the lookout for bowlers who can turn a ball.

Other NSW reps are pacemen Brendon Jones and Corey Evans, who have already made their first-grade Sydney debuts.

Another exciting player is James Pathanak, a dynamic batsman who likes to attack the bowling.

There are a number of senior players in the squad including captain Tony Clark, a veteran of first-grade cricket in Sydney.

He originally captained Sutherland and played a big part in the development of players such as Glen McGrath, Stuart Clark and Phil Jacques.

The Northern Rivers team is quite young, missing a number of senior players, but that has presented a great opportunity for locals to impress.

Players to watch include Corey McMahon from Terranora, a hard-hitting batsman and a lively, quick bowler.

McMahon is also playing with Dolphins 17s on the Gold Coast and has a big chance of representing NSW or Queensland in 17s this season.

Another exciting prospect is left-hand batter Ben Cooper.

He is the brother of Sheffield Shield batsman Tom Cooper, playing with South Australia.

Cooper, from Lismore, is a very hard hitter and is destined to soon move on to the city.

Two Twenty20 matches will be played tomorrow and a 50-over match on Sunday, with all matches being played at Rabjones Oval.

With fine weather forecast, the matches provide an opportunity to see some promising young cricketers in action at Murwillumbah.

  •   SIMON Katich's NSW Blues will begin their pursuit of the Champions League first prize of $A2.9 million with a pre-season tournament in Lismore next week.

The Blues yesterday named a 15-man squad for their warm-up matches against Victoria and Tasmania.

Australian domestic Twenty20 champions NSW and runners-up Victoria will represent Australia in the 12-team Champions League, which starts on October 8.

The NSW squad for next week's warm-up matches includes international players Katich, Stuart Clark, Doug Bollinger, Phillip Hughes, David Warner and Moises Henriques.

Katich's men head to Lismore on Monday, then depart for India on October 2.

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