Albany will again have strong representation at the Australian Country Cricket Championships after both the men’s and women’s travelling teams were announced this week.
Four Albany Cricket Association representatives were named in the final 14-man touring squad for the men’s team, with Railways’ Zane Marwick elevated to vice-captain in his third championship.
Railways fast bowler Nathan Crudeli and Mt Barker all-rounder Jeremy Wood will also be on their third tours when the team departs on New Year’s Day.
North County spinner Patrick Butler will play for the WA Country XI for a fourth time and the 2016 All-Australian XI member boasts the best strike rate by any bowler in the history of championships that have a minimum of 25 wickets.
Butler did not tour in WA’s disastrous campaign in Geraldton back in January, when they won three of 10 games.
The WA Country XI women’s side was also revealed this week and features two ACA players, with Royals’ Hannah Felton and North County’s Bonnie Crook both part of the 14-strong travelling team.
Felton and Crook have previously toured with the women’s team and give the Great Southern six current players in total that are set to take part in the annual championships.
Mt Barker opener Nathan Crosby has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season and rocketed into selection calculations following seven half-centuries in 10 innings.
Selectors have named Crosby as one of three emergencies that will be cover ahead of championships, which begin on January 5.
WA Country XI men’s coach Tim Edmunds, who also hails from Albany, said the four local players selected were deserving of their place.
“The selection process to get to here has been as thorough, and competition for spots has been as competitive as it has ever been,” Edmunds said.
“It doesn’t matter where the players come from in the State, we have been looking for players who are in form, confident, able to play roles in both formats and, most importantly, are on the upward curve when it comes to their cricket.”
Former Royals and Collingwood Park player Tim Hutchison, now living in Mandurah, is captain of the men’s side.
He is fresh off making a century for the WA Invitation XI in their Country Cup triumph over Bunbury on Sunday at the WACA.