Energy boost for young cricket talent in Valley
Young representative cricketers from across the North Coast are getting a boost from Country Energy as their off-season program commences.
Country Energy is again sponsoring the North Coast Emerging Blues program, with total squad selections growing to more than 100 players this year.
The program provides country cricketers with some of the opportunities enjoyed by their city counterparts, under the watchful eye of North Coast director of coaching, Chris Moran.
Players from Nambucca, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Maclean and Yamba had a 'tune up' last Sunday at Connell Park, Bellingen, in preparation for the next cricket season, which commences in September/October.
Brendan Purser, Brad Robertson, Rowen Hackett, Peter Munday, Braden Dinham, Aaron Jones and Isaac Dufficy were among the Clarence Valley players sweating it out with the squad.
"These sessions are part of the NSW Cricket program around NSW and they help to identify talented young players and develop their skills," Moran said.
"Australia's success in the future depends on developing our younger players and giving them the opportunities to reach higher levels as they mature."
Country Energy regional general manager Brian Glawson said he had no doubt the partnership between Country Energy and the squad would prove fruitful.
"I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some of these young local cricketers competing at the highest level in years to come," he said.
"Hopefully our support will help them to achieve their goals."
The Emerging Blues squad will also form the basis for North Coast team selections for the prestigious Bradman Cup tournament to be held on the NSW Central Coast in January 2006, where the best Under-16 cricketers from all over NSW will be competing for the coveted tro- phy.
Fielding revamp trial
BIRMINGHAM, England. ? Aust- ralia is likely to agree to have new one-day cricket fielding restrictions trialled in its three matches against England next month.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will introduce major rule changes to one-day games including extending fielding restrictions from 15 to 20 overs and introducing substitutes.
For the first time, fielding captains will be able to choose when they apply the restrictions, where only two fielders are al- lowed outside the 30-yard circle.
Fielding sides will be allowed only two men back in the first 10 overs, but can choose when to use the remaining 10 overs of restrictions, which will be distributed in two five-over blocks.
The revamp, which will be trialled in ODIs over a 10-month period, also include soccer-style substitutions, where players can be replaced by a teammate at