EP junior cricketers to emulate heroes

CUP: Quality Wool's Kane McKay is ready for the 2020 Quality Wool Cup which starts in Port Lincoln on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

CUP: Quality Wool's Kane McKay is ready for the 2020 Quality Wool Cup which starts in Port Lincoln on Thursday. Picture: Supplied

Eyre Peninsula junior cricketers will have the chance to emulate their Big Bash League (BBL) heroes when the Quality Wool Cup starts on Thursday.

The ninth year of the competition will be trialling a new look, with shirts and colours of the eight under 14 teams competing from across the region brought into line with franchises from the BBL for the two-day, Twenty20 tournament in Port Lincoln.

The 2019 Quality Wool Cup winners Le Hunte will now sport purple, while the teams lining up to dethrone them are Eastern Eyre (teal), Lincoln Tuna Kings (blue), Far West (turquoise), Tumby Bay Dolphins (lime green), Lincoln Great Whites (magenta), Kimba Cats (gold) and Great Flinders (orange).

Matches will be played on a round-robin basis at Port Lincoln's Centenary Oval, Poole Oval and Ravendale Complex, giving the region's emerging cricketers an opportunity to play on the excellent turf wickets at all venues.

With many of the youngsters also taking part in the SACA Country Cup in the Barossa Valley prior to the tournament, EP junior cricket president Tom Kenny said the Quality Wool Cup rounded-off a great fortnight of cricket for them.

"All associations are fielding sides and while some teams are having to rebuild from previous years, there is a strong field of under-12s coming through," he said.

Mr Kenny has identified Port Lincoln's Seb Henderson, Hugh Redden from Great Flinders, Noah Ramsey of Eastern Eyre, Le Hunte's Ezra Foster, Joey Lienert of Kimba, Tyson Higgins from Tumby Bay and Far West's Tye Kenny as stars on the rise to look out for in the tournament.

Quality Wool first staged the tournament back in 2012 as a way of giving back to the Eyre Peninsula community and managing director Mark Dyson said support from the seven EP cricket associations and the family's involved had been crucial for the tournament's success.

"It's wonderful to think the Quality Wool Cup will be celebrating its tenth anniversary soon (in 2021), and we love that the families have embraced it and often use it as an opportunity for a well-earned break in Port Lincoln during the school holidays," he said.