Gippsland’s best to be tested

THE Gippsland Cricket League senior competition will begin this Sunday, featuring the region’s best cricketers.

Sale-Maffra has the bye in round one, with its first match against Central Gippsland at the College Oval on November 18.

IN a rematch of last year’s final, Traralgon will host Leongatha, who was extremely unlucky to lose the 2011-12 decider when rain intervened.

Jason Wilson will be at the helm for Leongatha once again and he will be supported by talented players like leg spinner Tim Whiteman and the hard hitting Gavin Britt.

Former Victorian and Western Austrailan representative Brad Knowles has returned home and will captain Traralgon. He will have Lee Stockdale who has commenced the season in sensational form to help him out, as well as gun batsmen Jason Macfarlane and Kent Hammond.

WARRAGUL will do battle with Central Gippsland at Hallora and both teams will understand the importance of winning round one.

Warragul’s keys players are all-rounder Dale Weller and talented batsmen Daniel Hamilton, while Todd Mann will be very important in heading up the bowling attack.

Central Gippsland has last season’s top GSL run scorer Andrew Phillip. Kaushik Aphale blazed a century at the weekend for Latrobe, while Jordan Pearce is another who performed well in GCL last season.

ALBERTON will make the trip to Lucknow as underdog to meet Bairnsdale, who has been extremely competitive in GCL over the past five seasons.

All-rounder Nick Milne has been appointed Alberton captain and is looking forward to the challenge. Ashley Taylor was an All Gippsland representative last season and Corbin Sutherland is another very capable performer.

Top batsman Ben Saxon has taken over as skipper of Bairnsdale after Marcus Latham carried out the role very capably for a number of seasons. Saxon will be trying out for the VCCL side on Sunday, so will not be available for this round.

Ben Fielding will be very handy along for Bairnsdale, while wicket keeper Regan Kyle has returned to the area.

SALE-Maffra’s women will also have an opening round bye. They will play at Bairnsdale in round two on November 11.

For details of the winning starts for Sale-Maffra’s under 16 and 18 teams, read Friday’s Gippsland Times.