Local cricketer Lachlan Cameron has committed to another season as the Narrabri District Cricket Association’s War Veterans Cup team captain.
Cameron, who is often referred to as ‘Mr Narrabri’ for his love of the town and his popularity among the sporting community, will skipper Narrabri’s top representative cricket team for a ninth straight season when the campaign gets underway on Sunday, October 20, away from home against Tamworth.
At an NDCA representative cricket meeting on Tuesday night, Cameron was elected as the skipper for the Pink Slugs first XI’s 2019 campaign unopposed, and Western Imperial Razorbacks president Ty Baker was named as the MA Connolly Cup team captain.
NDCA president Brendon Ward was chosen as one of the representative selectors for the 2019-20 season, with a second to be named in the coming week.
The coach and manager positions for the two teams are also still open.
NDCA treasurer and War Vets team member Luke Meppem said Cameron and Baker were ideal candidates for the association’s captains.
“Lachie is our War Vets captain, he brings a lot of Pink Slugs experience and passion for the slug,” Meppem told The Courier.
“He leads by example with his actions on the field.
“Ty brings a wealth of knowledge having led the Pilliga team to a grand final two seasons ago, and he was also part of the NDCA Connolly Cup squad last year.”
Cameron said that he could not wait to pull on the whites again for Narrabri, and that he was hungry for success following last season’s grand final loss against Gunnedah.
“I’m very keen,” he said.
“Losing the grand final last year, me personally I was very disappointed, it would have been great to go back-to-back.
“I hate losing at the best of times let alone in a final.
“I thought we got ourselves in a good position to win it but it didn’t turn out that way.
“Tamworth will probably claim that they weren’t anywhere near full strength over the last year or so, so I guess that’s the other thing, we have to keep proving ourselves against every bit of opposition we get.
“We will be trying to keep winning to gain that respect from everyone.”
Cameron said that he expected the Pink Slugs to field a very strong side in 2019, which would more than likely be boosted by the additions of 2018-19 Connolly Cup grand finalists and Western Imperial Razorbacks duo Dylan Smith and Justin Knight.
“Jake Brayshaw will be missing for the first game which is a big loss for us,” Cameron said.
“We had a lot of young guys in the side last year and they are all better for the experience.
“I think we might be adding Justin Knight to that side.
“His representative form last year speaks for itself and his club cricket does too for that matter so that’s a big in for us.
“He was huge with the bat and he can bowl too, he can drop it on the spot and bowl good line and length and he’s really hard to get away.
“Also Dylan Smith has been going great in all the junior rep stuff and he looks like he’s got a huge future in the game.”
Narrabri’s preliminary squad has been named ahead of the round one clash against Tamworth, with the final team to be released soon.
The Pink Slugs’ season was initially scheduled to begin this Sunday, but Armidale’s recent withdrawal from the competition due to water availability issues has led to a reshuffle of the competition’s draw.
There are now just four teams in the Northern Inland Cricket Council’s first grade competition – Narrabri, Tamworth, Inverell and Gunnedah.
The competition was scheduled to finish on Sunday, February 16, the original grand final date. However, it will now be wrapped up by Christmas.
The NDCA’s second round match will be played on Sunday, November 10 away from home against inverell, followed by the third round game which will be at home against Gunnedah on Sunday, December 8.
The grand final will now be played on Sunday, December 15, between the two top-ranked sides after the three-round regular season.
Despite the War Vets Cup season being turned on its head, the MA Connolly Cup campaign will remain the same.
The NDCA’s first MA Connolly Cup match will be played at home against Quirindi on Sunday, October 27.
It will then have a bye in round two before travelling away for round three and four matches in Moree on December 8 and Peel Valley on January 19 respectively.
In the fifth and final regular season game Narrabri will challenge Gunnedah at home.
The semi-finals will be contested on Sunday, February 9, ahead of the February 16 grand final.