Rohan returns to rep cricket
COTTEN SHIELD: Rohan Hackett hasn't featured in a Cotten Shield clash since he was 16, but is relishing his opportunity to return to representative cricket.
With fellow left-arm fast bowler Brad Chard unavailable for the revamped contest between the Clarence River and Lower Clarence cricketing associations, Hackett will take the mantle as the strike bowler for Clarence River in the 50-over match, his first representative selection in five years.
"It's pretty exciting, I haven't played rep cricket in a while so it'll be a good challenge and something different,” Hackett said.
"Originally I had made myself unavailable because I was focusing on playing for Westlawn, but just in the past month I made myself available again, and with Brad out I've taken his spot.”
Hackett said his return to representative cricket couldn't come at a better time, after finding some form with both bat and ball.
"I'm back bowling pretty quick again, getting a bit of rhythm back,” he said.
"It's the sharpest I've felt in a while and the ball is swinging back into the right handers, so it's slowly coming back, just taken a while to get going again.”
Lower Clarence captain Luke Many said his side was looking forward to the match, despite a less-than-impressive representative season.
"Playing against the Grafton boys is never an easy feat,” Many said. "They have a quality bowling line up and they are all class players.
"We obviously know their game a lot better because these are the guys we play each weekend, but that does not make it an easier task.
Many said the side has struggled bringing in the next generation of representative cricketers because there is not enough pride in playing representative cricket.
"I remember when I first started playing cricket to get picked in one of those sides it was an honour,” he said.
"We need to have a few more of these young fellas really putting their hand up to get picked in the side. As yet they are not warranted, you just don't trust them to do the job that the older boys do each time.
"When they get the call the first question is "where is the game at?” and if it is an away clash good luck. We need to get more pride back into it.”
An Under 16s match will be played as a curtain raiser before the main game starts at 2.30pm at McKittrick Park on Sunday.