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Geraldton local, ‘best country cricketer’ Julian Crudeli to represent ambitious Bunbury association

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Jackson BarrettGeraldton Guardian
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The Bunbury representative cricket captain has described Geraldton cricketer Julian Crudeli as one of the “best country cricketers in the land”, with the new recruit to represent the association in the Country Cup on Sunday.

New association captain Blair Malatesta said after years of being haunted by Crudeli, seeing him in Bunbury’s blue alongside fellow new recruit Bevan Bennell from Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association was a huge boost.

“It’s incredible,” Malatesta said.

“Those two (Crudeli and Bennell) have cost us country cups and country weeks in the latest couple of years with their individual brilliance,” Malatesta said.

“Having two of arguably the best country cricketers in the land come in to this group has got everyone really excited.”

Malatesta said the reinvigorated representative side was “very keen” to turn recent fortunes around and compete for silverware again under new coach Anthony Stubberfield.

He said the association aimed to re-establish itself as the best competition in WA outside of Premier Cricket.

“We always say we are the best league outside the WACA but having no trophies doesn’t reflect that,” he said.

“We are pretty keen to change that and show the other comps that we are.”

Bunbury will aim to keep its Country Cup campaign alive against a WACA Invitational XI at Scarborough’s Abbett Park on Sunday in the wake of another quiet season in Statewide competitions.

The Bunbury association named Crudeli in its 25-man squad in October for the opening two games of the Country Cup. The Country XI representative, who last played club cricket for Wanderers in Geraldton, began his second stint with Eaton in the South West with a game-defining 66.

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