Johnson steps up to skipper Firebirds

Wellington Firebirds batsman Troy Johnson will captain Wellington for the remainder of the Ford Trophy competition starting against Northern Districts at the Basin Reserve tomorrow.

The 23-year-old, who notched his maiden List A century against Auckland at Eden Park Outer Oval late last year, will take-on the captaincy duties from Michael Bracewell as a development opportunity.

Johnson has captained Wellington at all age-group levels as he has progressed through the Cricket Wellington pathway programme, including the Wellington A squad where his consistent performances saw him earn his first Firebirds contract at the start of this season.

Firebirds head coach Glenn Pocknall said it would be a great opportunity for Johnson to develop his leadership skills.

“Troy has been a real standout this summer both with his performances on the field and also his hard work and professionalism off it,” he said.

“He has all the attributes of a strong leader and this is a great opportunity for him to gain some captaincy experience at the top level after leading at pretty much every level throughout the Cricket Wellington pathway.”

Johnson will lead a strong squad that boasts BLACKCAPS wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, Super Smash superstar Finn Allen, as well as seamer Ollie Newton who returns to the side after missing the entire Super Smash campaign with a lumbar stress fracture.

“We’re stoked to be able to welcome Ollie back into the side,” said Pocknall.

“He’s had a frustrating couple of months with injury – he was a star of last summer’s T20 competition – so to miss this year’s title defence was tough for him – he’ll be raring to go tomorrow.”

Hamish Bennett, Jimmy Neesham and Devon Conway are all unavailable for the Firebirds due to BLACKCAPS duty, but it’s an otherwise full-strength Wellington side looking to make a late push for a Ford Trophy finals place.

The Firebirds have made the Basin Reserve a fortress in recent times - they were unbeaten at home throughout the entire Super Smash campaign and have won seven of their last eight Ford Trophy matches on home soil.

Play gets underway from the Basin Reserve at 11.00am tomorrow – spectator entry is free.


Wellington Firebirds squad | Ford Trophy | Round Seven
Troy Johnson (c)
Finn Allen
Jakob Bhula
Tom Blundell (wk)
Michael Bracewell
Fraser Colson
Jamie Gibson
Iain McPeake
Ollie Newton
Ben Sears
Logan Van Beek
Peter Younghusband


Round Seven Ford Trophy
Wellington Firebirds v Northern Districts
Friday 19 February | 11.00am
Basin Reserve, Wellington

Article added: Friday 19 February 2021