MACQUARIE Coast Stingers captain Josh Hyde and his team will have to wait another six weeks for a chance to progress to the Sydney Cricket Ground.
They were originally scheduled to head to Coffs Harbour this weekend for the Regional Big Bash, but a scheduling mix-up has forced the carnival to be postponed.
Midnight Oil’s concert has been moved to the carpark, with groundsmen at Coffs Harbour unsure the ground would recover in time for next week’s women’s Ashes match.
Now in their third Regional Big Bash League campaign, the Stingers have gone one match further every year they have played.
They will now have to wait until December 2 and 3 to follow that pattern and a possible appearance at the SCG.
Hopefully we’re full-strength with our bowling this year because we lacked a little bit with our depth.Macquarie Coast Stingers captain Josh Hyde
“Hopefully we’re full-strength with our bowling this year because we lacked a little bit with our depth,” Hyde said.
“We’ve got the power to do it, but the other teams seem to be a bit more consistent at that level.
“We’re still building, so we only need a bit of luck to go our way and we could come away with three wins.”
But first, the Stingers have to overcome Coffs Harbour, Northern Rivers and Tamworth at the two-day carnival.
The Hastings will field four players in the team with Hyde, Chris Cole, Jesse Schmidt and Bailey Smith all expected to play vital roles.
“Bailey is a handy off-spinner and I’ve played against him a lot in the Twenty20 cricket in our local comp and he bowls a nice left-arm off-break and he changes his pace very well,” Hyde said.
“He’s got a lot of variations as well and he can bat down the lower order.
“Jesse’s probably the best cricketer in this area and is a bloke that can change a game with both bat and ball so you have to have blokes like that in the side.”
Jesse’s probably the best cricketer in this area and is a bloke that can change a game with both bat and ball so you have to have blokes like that in the side.Josh Hyde
Hyde felt the Stingers had a stronger side to the one that fell just short of an SCG appearance last year.
He put it down to the introduction of the Mid North Coast Premier Cricket League.
The two-day carnival format would suit all teams better than last year when the matches were a month apart.
“It makes sense to have it on the one weekend because last year you didn’t field the same team in each of the matches,” Hyde said.
The Stingers will miss the guile of off-spinner Dean Mills who played an integral role in last year’s campaign.
“He was a very handy off-spin bowler and I went with him opening the bowling in a few of the games because he was very well controlled,” Hyde said.
“He’s probably my biggest loss from the side last year because he was a real strike weapon for us but other than that I think we’ve got a stronger team.”