Premiers ready to face new side in the top division
CRICKET: North Bundaberg is not worried about the challenges that will be thrown its way this season in Division 1 cricket.
The side will start its season tomorrow against newly merged side Past Highs Combined Country as the defending premiers.
Norths last year dominated the competition to win the premiership over The Waves by four wickets as they also claimed the T20 title and the NewsMail Cup.
The side is currently unbeaten in its past 20 matches in all competitions.
This season, the side is not expecting it to be that smooth.
"There's a big target on our back,” Norths captain Todd Sommerfeld said.
"A few sides want to certainly knock us off.”
But the side isn't too worried about it.
"We're just focused on ourselves, as long we do the three basics of batting, fielding and bowling right the rest will play out by itself,” Sommerfeld said.
"We've also lost a few players in the off-season and picked up a couple.
"A couple of players have returned from a few years off and we'll get some players back in the next couple of weeks after a trip overseas.”
Sommerfeld fell short of saying the side were underdogs heading into the new season, but conceded they won't have everything go their own way.
The side will be first to face the new merged side as well, not knowing what to expect from Past Highs Combined Country.
"We haven't worried about them, instead we are focusing on what we need to do,” Sommerfeld said.
"We'll have a fair few players out but we've picked a squad that can do the job.”
Norths will also play two-day cricket for the first time in over a season.
The game, to be held over the next two Saturdays, will be played from a starting time to a finishing time with unlimited overs during the contest.
It allows teams to go for an outright win by bowling the opposition out twice.
"It will be interesting to go back to it because it has been a couple of years,” Sommerfeld said.
"You need to be patient, but we won't be changing our style much.
"If there is a bad ball to be hit I'm sure most players will hit it.”
Norths will aim for its 21st win in all competitions this weekend.
"It's not something we're thinking about but of course it would be nice to continue it,” Sommerfeld said.
The game starts at 12.30pm at Kendalls Flat.