Sydney University is flying out today to represent Australia at the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Games, to be held in Sri Lanka from 5 to 11 September.
The squad for the tournament is: Ben Trevor-Jones (captain); Henry Clark, Nicholas Craze, Kieran Elley, Xavier Frawley, Brodie Frost, Jack Gibson, Tom Galvin, Dugald Holloway, Jack Holloway, Hayden Kerr, Joseph Kershaw, Charles Litchfield and Jack Remond.
The club won the right to represent Australia by winning the Australian Universities Games tournament at the start of last season. The other seven teams taking part in the Twenty20 competition are: Business Management School, Colombo (Sri Lanka); University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh; Loughborough University (England); Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce (India); University of Central Punjab (Pakistan); Assupol TuksCricket, University of Pretoria (South Africa); and Heriot Watt University, Duabi (UAE). The eight teams will be divided into two pools of four at the competition draw on 4 September, and group matches will be played at two Test venues, Sinhalese Sports Club and Nondescripts Cricket Club, on 5, 6 and 7 September. The finals will be played on 10 and 11 September. Incidentally, Sydney University played on both these grounds during its 2004-05 tour to India and Sri Lanka.
As an experiment, the competition this year will introduce a new Energiser Over, where the runs for one over per side, tactically nominated by the batting team at any point after the Powerplay overs, will count double. But any wickets taken during that over will cost the batting side 5 penalty runs.
It won’t be an easy competition. The home side, BMS Colombo, can field three Sri Lankan internationals (Shehan Jayasuriya, Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka). Nine members of the Loughborough side who won the final of the English tournament in late June had experience of first-class cricket. And South Africa’s TuksCricket has won the last two Red Bull World championships.
In contrast, the young Sydney University team includes only five players with First Grade experience, but they’re not intimidated by the task ahead. “We’ve been training as a squad for a few months now”, says Club Captain Henry Clark, “trying to hone our T20 skills. We know we’ll come up against some quality opponents, but we’re excited by the prospect of challenging ourselves against the best the rest of the world has to offer in some foreign conditions.”