HORSHAM Cricket Association is gearing up for a big weekend of cricket at the Western Waves Festival of Cricket Twenty20 tournament in Hamilton.
The association has selected a 20-man squad for the weekend, which will be captained by Homers all-rounder Chris Hopper.
It is the first time in five years Hopper will take part in the tournament after choosing to not play the past few seasons.
Hopper said he was keen to return to the side and make an impact.
“It should be good because we’ve got a strong team this year,” he said.
“I’ve just got back on board and we’ve got about half a dozen guys who probably wouldn’t have represented the senior side before so it’s a good opportunity for them.”
The team features a deep batting line-up, with three of the top four batting average players in the association – Lachie Watts, Lachie Jones and Damien Bunworth – all playing.
Bowling aces, including foreign-born duo Thilan Kariyawasam and Siphe Mzaidume, will also take to the field.
Homers bowler Simon Hopper, who has claimed eight wickets at an average of 8.88 in three matches this year, will also feature.
Chris Hopper said the team was primed to contend for a win at the tournament after several lean years.
With plenty of batting and bowling depth, he said they could match it with the best representative teams in western Victoria.
“I’m really happy with the standard of the side we’ve got this year,” he said.
“We’ve got a couple of good opening bowlers coming down in Siphe and ‘Tilly’, and our top six or seven batters are probably some of the strongest batsmen in the association.
“I’m confident we’re going to go really well down there – we’ve had a couple of tough years just getting a team for starters, but this is the best side we’ve had in a long time.”
Horsham Cricket Association squad: Captain Chris Hopper, Lachie Jones, Siphe Mzaidume, Craig Britten, Simon Hopper, Adam Atwood, Homers; Damien Bunworth, Ben Peucker, Laharum; Thilan Kariyawasam, Horsham Saints; Josh Colbert, Mathew Combe, Justtin Combe, Noradjuha-Toolondo; Lachie Watts, Travis Hair, Oliver Young, Harry Young, Blackheath-Dimboola; Brent Hudson, Rup-Minyip; Angus Adams, Nathan Neumann, Jung Tigers; Brad Millar, Colts.