COLAC’S Meyrick Buchanan and Aaron Finch will be at the forefront of a new era of Australian cricket this weekend.
The Colac cricketers are part of Big Bash League club Melbourne Renegades, which will play Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval tomorrow afternoon.
The match is one of four this weekend which will launch the heavily-hyped competition which features city-based teams.
Buchanan and Finch fired during an intra-club practice match at Geelong on Wednesday, with Finch smashing a quick-fire 62 while Buchanan carried his bat for 92 not out.
Renegades batsman Michael Hill said the pair had impressed at training leading up to the BBL, a tournament marketers hope will capture the imaginations of cricket fans.
He said fans could expect big things from Finch and Buchanan should they win selection for one of the Renegades’ seven matches. The tournament culminates on January 28.
“I’ve played a little with Aaron through the Bushrangers stuff. Meyrick I haven’t seen too much of but I’ve played a bit of cricket with Liam,” he said.
“Obviously they’re a very talented family, with Amon playing footy up in Brisbane. What I’ve seen of Meyrick he’ll be quite good, he’s been batting well.
“Aaron, obviously he’s played Twenty20 for Australia, they obviously see something in him.
“He’s been playing really well in Twenty20 over the last couple of years, he’s got a fantastic Twenty20 record. He’s a real good inclusion at the top of the order.”
Hill said the BBL was a positive step for Australian cricket but he was adamant longer-form matches should be players’ and officials’ top priority.
The concept has proved a hit before day one, but the jury remains out about whether crowds will flock to matches, particularly later in the tournament.
“I think people are quite naive if they think Twenty20 is the way forward. There is always the prestige of Test cricket and Shield cricket,” he said.
“With one-day cricket and Twenty20, it’s a bit of fun.
“I don’t think it should be the main focus, Test cricket should be the main goal of every player in Australia.
“But trying your hand at Twenty20, it’s a bit of fun. But it’s also been a lot more serious than a lot of us thought it would be.”
The eight teams in the BBL are the Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers, Adelaide Strikers, Perth Scorchers, Hobart Hurricane and Brisbane Heat.