THERE will be a distinct Hastings taste to Saturday’s pre-season cricket fixture between Western Suburbs and North Coast.
And ironically, it will be the Sydney grade side with the links to the region.
Former Port Macquarie cricketer Jonathan Cook will lead Wests alongside former Wauchope RSL players Nick Cutler and Darren Bourke.
Cook said his side wouldn’t be approaching the match as a friendly.
“With the NSW Premier Cricket competition starting next Saturday we will be playing as if it was a competition match,” he said.
Cook will bat in the middle order and also provide a strong spin option with his accurate leg spinners.
Cutler has just returned from an off season playing stint in Ireland and will bat at number three.
He will be hoping to continue his strong form from the 2016/17 season when he was one of the leading run scorers in Sydney.
Bourke is selected as the team wicketkeeper but will also be keen to spend some time in the middle with the bat.
Another North Coast player included is former Macksville batsman Alec Baldwin who will open the batting.
Although he is only 19 years of age he already has a first grade century to his credit.
Wests have a couple of players including English County batsmen Nick Eckersley and former Randwick batsman James Psarakis unavailable but will still send a strong team north.
Fast bowler Ayden Brown has been recruited from Bankstown and is sure to hurry up the North Coast batsmen.
His opening bowling partner is likely to be Wests local product Lachlan Swan.
Although Swan is yet to make his first grade debut, he has genuine pace and could be quickest bowler in the match.
Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke will not make the trip.
The Wests team is: Jonathan Cook (c), Isaac Taylor, Alec Baldwin, Nick Cutler, Daniel Hayes, Sam McMahon, Connor Jackson, Darren Bourke, Sam Parajasingham, Ayden Brown, Jahingar Ali, Lachlan Swan. Coach Chad Porter.
First ball is at 10am at Wayne Richards Park.