Cricketers gear up for country week as Jai Russell named captain for second straight year

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Towns’ Jai Russell at the crease.
Camera IconTowns’ Jai Russell at the crease. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Arctic Moon Photography

Geraldton will be represented by two sides at the annual Country Cricket Championships in Perth from next Sunday.

Country week embraces WA regional and country-based associations in five days of high-level cricket.

Teams are divided into five sections with Geraldton’s number one side in A-section — Geraldton last won in 2018.

The seconds should still be in C-section but are instead in B-section because some associations did not nominate or lack a second team.

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The top side will be captained by Jai Russell who led for the first time last season and impressed while Aaron McAuliffe, also a vastly experienced country week player, will lead the twos.

In the A squad, experienced campaigners Clint Yeates, Nigel Routledge and Tom Forsyth headline while young Wanderers captain Kade Gillingham will hope to take his red-hot form into country week with Ringo McKenna to spearhead the bowling attack.

Both teams will play 60-overs-a-side games with the top team to meet Bunbury on Sunday, Eastern Goldfields on Monday and Albany on Wednesday in qualifiers.

Geraldton will need to finish second or higher in its group to qualify for the finals otherwise they will play for positions should they miss out.

The seconds’ qualifiers are Great Southern on Sunday, Albany (2) on Monday and South Midlands on Wednesday.

A-section team: Jai Russell (c), Clayton Bruce-Cherry, Jack Dawson (first two games), Tom Forsyth, Kade Gillingham, Kodi Giltrow, Darcy Ingle, Ringo McKenna, Jay O’Brien, Nigel Routledge, Matt Russell, Clint Yeates.

B-section team: Aaron McAuliffe (c), Austin Breen, Kurt Crudeli, Simon Evans, Bobby Gibson, Gus Heberle, Jim Hyde, Aaron Joss, Mitch Marsh, Antonio Paradella, Jayden Pinto, Cody Slootmans, Dan Welsh (one will replace Dawson in the top side).

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