Changes For Stags In Grand Final Rematch
Bayley Wiggins and uncapped Curtis Heaphy have joined the Central Stags' Ford Trophy squad as the team touches down in New Plymouth for tomorrow's 2023 Grand Final rematch with Canterbury at Pukekura Park.
The Stags swept aside Canterbury to win 2023's Ford Trophy earlier this year, and there's no doubt the red and blacks will be fired up to exact some revenge when the great rivals clash again from 10.30am this Wednesday, 29 November in the free admission round two one-dayer.
Wiggins and Heaphy come into the 12 while veteran batter Ben Smith (work commitments) and Angus Schaw (in the CD A Men's squad playing in the Taupō Quadrangular A tournament today and tomorrow) drop out of the group that travelled to Nelson for the first round.
Dane Cleaver top-scored for the Stags with 93 in that hard-fought loss against Northern Districts and will keep the gloves, as well as continue as stand-in captain, with regular skipper Tom Bruce and Doug Bracewell both still out with injury.
Leading pace bowler Brett Randell also remains unavailable for the time with an impending addition to his family.
Twenty-year-old contracted batter Heaphy has played six first-class Plunket Shield matches for the Stags while Wiggins is returning to the happy hunting ground where he scored 98 in his very first Ford Trophy innings, opening the batting in 2020.
Soon after, Wiggins smashed his maiden century (103 off 94 balls) in his next appearance at the ground - just his fourth Ford Trophy match, coincidentally also against tomorrow's opponent, Canterbury.
After 15 appearances, the talented 25-year-old averages over 40.00 in the format for the Stags, and will be looking forward to a chance to get on the park for the first time this season with the team, if selected in the playing XI.
The toss is set down for 10am with the match livescored and live-streamed at www.cdcricket.co.nz. The team then heads down to Palmerston North for Sunday's third round against the Wellington Firebirds (3 December at Fitzherbert Park) before returning to Pukekura Park on Thursday, 7 December to host the Otago Volts for round four - with all matches free admission and starting at 10.30am.
The Stags will also be hosting two free Smash Play events with fun games, autographs, posters and Dream11 Super Smash ticket giveaways to win over the next fortnight. Head to Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North at 1.30PM this Saturday 2 December (the day before the round three Ford Trophy match) where there will also be a free BBQ lunch for young participants.
Taranaki kids can head to the Francis Douglas Memorial College playing fields at 3.30PM on Wednesday, 6 December for their chance to meet the Stags, play Smash Play and get free giveaways and ticket prizes to Dream11 Super Smash at Pukekura Park in late December.
THE FORD TROPHY • Round 2 of 10
CENTRAL STAGS versus CANTERBURY
Pukekura Park • New Plymouth
10.30am Wednesday 29 November 2023
Dane Cleaver (captain, wicketkeeper) - Manawatū
Jack Boyle - Hawke's Bay
Will Clark - Hawke's Bay
Josh Clarkson - Nelson
Liam Dudding - Hawke's Bay
Curtis Heaphy - Manawatū
Jayden Lennox - Hawke's Bay
Brad Schmulian - Hawke's Bay
Bevan Small - Manawatū
Blair Tickner - Hawke's Bay
Ray Toole - Manawatū
Bayley Wiggins - Hawke's Bay
Assistant Coach: Jamie Watkins
Contracted players unavailable for selection:
Will Young — BLACKCAPS Test Tour of Bangladesh
Ajaz Patel — BLACKCAPS Test Tour of Bangladesh
Tom Bruce — Injury (hernia)
Doug Bracewell — Injury (knee)
Brett Randell — family commitments
Joey Field — return to play process following shoulder rehabilitation
Livestream and livescoring at www.cdcricket.co.nz
Official hashtags #fordtrophy #lovethestags