CRICKET: A new look fixture line-up will step onto the Buderim fields as the Sunshine Coast cricket season begins with the first rounds of the Caloundra Event Centre T20 competition.
Seven sides will contest First Division after Maroochydore reverted back to entering one side after two years of dual representation. This gives a bye to the draw for the first time since 2001, and each club will have a rest for a one-day and two-day round.
All the teams will gather at Maroochydore's headquarters for the opening day, playing the first T20 rounds, an innovation last year that was warmly approved by all.
The sides are allocated to two groups, with Caboolture, Caloundra, Gympie and Tewantin-Noosa filling Pool A, leaving Maroochydore, Glasshouse and Nambour for Pool B.
As usual the interest is in the movements, additions and losses around the Coast, and some of the top names of recent seasons will be missing.
The competition's top runscorer and wicket-taker, Maroochydore's Craig Davies and Shane Newton, along with perennial century maker Rod Gibbs and Caboolture backbone Toby Millyard have left the fold, opening opportunities for young talent to step up.
Gympie will be without Australian Country rep Kaden Dickfos, who has returned to the Scorchers. Nambour has seen Craig McDonald finally relinquish the new ball while Glasshouse has consolidated, adding Anthony Delforno to last year's squad.
Dean Elliott has moved to the Scorchers from Caloundra, with others from the young side eyeing off promotion.
The T20 day provides the chance for the clubs to have a hit out before the main two-day event, and have a look at the opposition as well. Round 1 games are Gympie v Caloundra, Glasshouse v Maroochydore and Caboolture v Tewantin-Noosa. Play starts at 9:30 am.
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