The first Dream11 Super Smash match of the Firebirds and Blaze season is here - where the teams are taking on the Otago Sparks and Volts at the Cello Basin Reserve.
Both Firebirds and Blaze teams are stacked with talent, and the first match of the season will see a crop of new T20 caps joining their respective experienced sides. With both the Firebirds and the Blaze having first-time captains at the helm in Peter Younghusband and Amelia Kerr, the squads face a new season with a fresh look.
Three Firebirds are in-line for potential Firebirds debuts, with Callum McLachlan picking up the wicketkeeping gloves while Tom Blundell is away on test duties for New Zealand. The 23-year-old is an exciting prospect, featuring for the New Zealand U-19 side a few years ago before picking up debuts in First Class, List A, and now, T20 games in the last year.
Adam Milne is another exciting addition to an already-stacked Firebirds bowling lineup. Milne brings pace in a class that very few other bowlers can match, dealing in the 140+ kph range. Between domestic and international cricket, Milne has upwards of 150 T20 games under his belt and is a valued veteran for this Firebirds team.
Nick Kelly also joins the Firebirds from Otago as a valuable top-order bat with a career strike rate hovering just over 125. With plenty of firepower in his bat, the Firebirds will look to use Kelly to shore up their top six as he joins a team who is missing three of its top-order regulars to international duty.
Firebirds head coach BJ Watling spoke on the mix of exciting youth and veterans in his team.
“We are excited to kick off the Dream11 Super Smash campaign with a nice balance of youth and experience in our squad.”
“Having the likes of Milney and Finn around the group has been invaluable. Both are world-class explosive players and well suited to this format.”
We also have some exciting young players in Rachin, Tim and, Callum that I’m looking forward to watching grow throughout this season.”
“It’s also Peters first opportunity to lead us, he is passionate, energetic and a smart cricketer that I know will take the game on and push everyone around him to do the same.”
Peter Younghusband and the Firebirds kick off their 2022/23 Super Smash campaign on December 24th at the Cello Basin Reserve.
The Wellington Blaze are coming off a perfect 10-0 Super Smash campaign in 2021/22 that saw them become undisputed champions in emphatic fashion. With the T20 World Cup in the new year, the young players will be crucial to maintain the perfect form.
The Blaze welcome back a host of international players after the WHITE FERNS completed their whitewash of Bangladesh in New Zealand, with Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Jess McFadyen, Georgia Plimmer, and Maddy Green all returning to the regional side.
The side is at near-full strength to open the season, with only WHITE FERNS captain Sophie Devine not partaking in this weekend’s action.
After beating Otago last weekend at the Cello Basin Reserve in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, the Blaze look to continue their hot form at home and start their title defense with a statement win.
Both bat and ball are strong suits of the Blaze, though with the additions of their WHITE FERNS, a batting unit of Rebecca Burns, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Georgia Plimmer, Caitlin King, and Jess McFadyen is both deep and dangerous.
The Wellington Blaze will kick off their home summer first, with play starting at 11am on Saturday the 24th of December, streaming live on Spark Sport.
Wellington Blaze squad | Dream11 Super Smash | v Otago Sparks
Amelia Kerr (Captain)
Leigh Kasperek (Vice Captain)
Wellington Firebirds squad | Dream11 Super Smash | v Canterbury Kings
Peter Younghusband (c)
Callum McLachlan (wk)
Troy Johnson ©
Logan van Beek
Article added: Friday 23 December 2022