They may look a little cobbled-together this weekend but expect the newly-formed Cavaliers Invitational cricket team to be a real threat in the South Canterbury Twenty20 (T20) League.
The team will have to borrow some South Canterbury representative tops for their first game on Saturday, but certainly have the ability to upset some of the senior cricket sides on their day.
Cavaliers spokesman Grant Brookland said the aim of the team was to have a group of semi-retired former representative players mentor some up-and-coming Roncalli College and Timaru Boys’ High School players, particularly during the Friday night encounters.
“We don’t want to steal players from other clubs,” Brookland said.
“We just want to find some young players and give them a taste of senior cricket and help and mentor them along the way.”
The side could be stacked with past South Canterbury representative players, with Brookland, former South Canterbury captain Todd Elliotte, Gary Ballantyne, Phil Duffield and Chris Leonard just some of the names likely to play at some point during the season.
Leonard and Chris Galwey will face their sons in their first match against Timaru.
Brookland said the short format had been the catalyst for some of the veterans wanting to give it a go.
“Many of us see it as a way to give back.
“We still love the game of cricket and for whatever reason, be it family or work, have given it away.
“I know for me, I was mentored by Chris Galwey and Chris Leonard when I first started playing cricket, so it’s like it’s coming full-circle with this opportunity,” Brookland said.
Celtic host Star while Waimate travel to Temuka in the other opening round fixtures.
Friday night games at Aorangi Oval will start next week when defending champions Celtic play last year’s finalists Timaru.