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Pura Cup 2002 ; A Preview

The QLD Bulls will be looking to take their fourth straight domestic cricket title this summer. However, after a summer of drafts, rotations, swaps and trades they may find a challenge in a few teams that could easily upset some of the top teams.

Last year Tasmania proved that they are worthy contenders by performing outstandingly throughout the season and giving Queensland a solid challenge in the final last year. Spurred on by Australian allrounder Shane Watson and fierce attacks by Shane Jurgensen the Tigers toppled the Bulls in Bellrieve before falling late at the last hurdle.

This year however, the Tigers will not be the only team that could come together and play very hard four day cricket.

Lets look at the teams.


Under new coach David Hookes, the Bushrangers will be looking once again to have a season like they did in 2000/01 were very close to knocking off QLD in the final at the Gabba.

Players to watch are Will Carr, Shane Harwood , Matthew Inness and Michael Lewis. These four players will all get the opportunity to make their mark this year. Harwood is a very sharp bowler who has been noticed through the ACB cup many a time. Will Carr, the 26 year old quick will most likely get the new ball this year after Damien Fleming moved to South Australia. Carr was impressive last year and will hopefully make himself a regular in the team.

Youngster Cameron White will also look to where he left off last year, while promising young Australian Under 19 player Tim Welsford will be pushing for his first cap. Graeme Rummans (from NSW) will also want to ensure that his move interstate pays off.

Player to Watch :Will Carr

South Australia:

Greg Chappell will coach the Redbacks for his fifth season this year. He will hopefully build solid team coherency through senior players such as Damien Fleming(From Victoria), Greg Blewett and Darren Lehmann.

These leaders should provide wealthy experience to the younger up and coming stars of the future. These players include Mick Miller (From Queensland) , John Davidson(from Victoria), Mark Higgs(From NSW) , Jack Smith (From ACT) and Redback regulars such as Chris Davies, Ben Johnson and David Fitzgerald.

The strength of the the team this year will come from the upper batting order especially from Greg Blewett who will try and once again regain a national spot contrary to what others say. Watch this team do better than what the TAB give them.

Player to Watch : Paul Rofe. Bowled exceptional spells last year and will hopefully be bowling against teams chasing a large total.


After a sensational year last year the tigers will look to go one step further and take their first ever Pura Cup crown. An after Christmas display of fine fast bowling backed up by a solid middle order helped the Tigers upset some big names last season , however this year they will need consistency over the entire season if they are to succeed.

Under new coach Brian FcFayden, and inspiring skipper Mr Jamie "Best player not to play for Australia" Cox the Tigers will give their all. Young allrounder Shane Watson was inspirational last year and has been rewarded with a three year deal. Shane Jurgensen bowled some of the best spells of the year and was well backed up by the fast medium pace of Damien Wright. Watch for these two in tandem this year.

Player of the year David Saker will also return in what should be another great year for this ex Victorian quick. A number of their players particulary those that are easy to pronounce such as Clingeleffer and Kremerskothen could also stand up and be counted.

After last years turnaround, who knows where the Tigers could end up??

Player to watch : Damien Wright and Xavier Doherty.

New South Wales:

After winning the ING Cup last year the Blues will have to lift their game if they want to be competitive in the two day arena.

Is there a better bat than Simon Katich in the two day game?

I'm sure Simon will be out to prove that their isn't this year as he takes over as captain from Shane Lee.

The Blues have lost Rummans and Higgs, but have contracted a number of younger players that , given the opportunity could all make their mark and keep Trevor Hohns on his toes. Watch out for young Aarron O'Brien with the bat, experienced campaigner Matthew Phelps(who is smashing them in grade cricket) , Corey Richards and Australian Under 19 captain Michael Clarke.

With the ball the Blues have Shane Lee, Nathan Bracken and recently elected Australian A player Stuart Clarke. They should be worthy opponents especially with the likes of McGill and Beavan to guide them even when other states have test players on duty.

This team on its day can grind out a bowling attack and score big runs, however , like last year consistency will prove the be the ultimate challenge.

Player to Watch : Aaron O'Brien

Queensland Bulls:

The most dominant team in the last decade. The Bulls , under new coach Terry Oliver will aim to maintain the high level of cricket we have seen for years.

Brendon Nash will replace Matthew Hayden full time and has a point to prove particularly after the sensational knock he produced in last years final.

Nash and stalwart Jimmy Maher (who is also the new Captain) will open the batting followed by Martin Love. Love was absolutly brilliant last year , his hard work will surely pay off one day with a selection for his country. The bulls are overloaded with quicks, with Adam Dale a big probability of returning soon.

This would leave a tough decision for the selectors with Dawes, Bichel, Kaspa, Noffke, MacKenzie, Hopes and Brandt all ready to pounce.

It is very hard to beat the Bulls batting with Andrew Symonds, Stuart Law, Clinton Perren and Lee Carseldine all aiming for a consistent flow of runs this year. The TAB have got it right with their odds, it will only be the Bulls that will beat themselves.

Player to Watch : Ashley Noffke and Mitchell Johnson (if fully fit)

Western Australia Warriors:

Stalwart Michael Veletta joins the Warriors as coach this year. The coaching role is familiar to Veletta as he captained/coached the Canberra Comets while they were in the one day competition.

A very young squad the Warriors will look to veterans Brad Hogg, Zimbabwian Murray Goodwin, Mike Hussey and tireless bowlers Jo Angel and Paul "Al Bundy" Wilson (Who has come over from South Australia). Amongst their emerging players are son of Geoff Marsh Shaun, Chris Rogers, nabbed ACT bowler Andrew James, Darren Wates and Adam Voges.

During the season these players might well be used frequently as the WA bowlers are on the ageing side and may need a rest. The WACA always proves to be a tough ask for Batsmen and with Nicholson, Brad Williams and Jo Angel opening the attack it will be very hard for other states to get off to a cracking start.

This team, at full strength will easily beat any team in the competition. Kade Harvey will fill the allrounder position. The Warriors should be second favourite to take out the title this year if their bowlers stay injury fee and online.

Player to Watch : Kade Harvey.
Wed 23/10/2002 Chris Titley 52 views

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