The return of domestic cricket to South Canterbury will also be a homecoming for one of the region’s top cricketers.

[singlepic id=57 w=320 h=240 float=left]Otago captain Craig Cumming can’t wait for the New Year’s Eve one-day match against Canterbury at Aorangi Oval, and he’s hoping he and his team will get plenty of support.

Cumming grew up in Timaru and represented the South Canterbury senior side in the 1993-94 season.

The 34-year-old played his early domestic cricket in Canterbury, but it was his move to Otago in 2000 that launched him into the New Zealand side.

The 2008-09 Otago cricket player of the year said the Christmas period could not have worked out better for him.

“When the schedule came out and I saw we had a game in Dunedin, and then one on New Year’s Eve in Timaru, it was quite exciting.

“It’s nice to be [in Timaru] over that period with the family connection.”

Cumming was looking forward to returning to his “home track” for the first time in six years, and hoped he and the rest of the Otago top order could find form.

“I think that has been our problem – a lot of our guys have got starts, but no-one’s got that one big score yet,” he said. “The secret is getting a guy in who gets the big score and then those 30s and 40s become good supporting acts.”

A loss against Central Districts on Monday has left Cumming hoping tomorrow will be the day everything clicks.

“There is still a lot of confidence in the team, and we know we have the players to perform well.

“We haven’t really shown any of our strengths yet, which has been frustrating, but the belief is still there.”

He expects Canterbury to provide tough opposition.

“I haven’t been watching them too closely, but obviously they will have a strong batting lineup.”

The 11 test and 13 one-day international player isn’t expecting a recall to the Black Caps in the near future and is instead focusing on his role as Otago captain.

“I don’t really know where I stand in the one-day game, and in the tests. I’d be surprised [to be reselected] based on the reasons I was given for missing out in the last series.

“You don’t have enough energy for the disappointments.

“I’m just wanting to focus on my role here with Otago.”

He said it was great to take cricket to smaller towns, and hoped a big crowd would turn up on New Year’s Eve.

“Some of the most beautiful grounds in the country are the small ones.

“I know we are certainly lucky in Otago with the University Oval and then places like Alexandra, Queenstown and Invercargill.

“Hopefully a lot of people will come out and watch the game; I know a few family and friends who will pop along and have a look and support the blue and golds, so we may get a few more supporters than Canterbury.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This