THE HEAT IS ON: Norton ready to handle pressure
CRICKET: Bundaberg's Ryan Norton knows there will be a target on his back over the next few months.
But he's ready to handle the pressure.
Norton was sold for the highest price in Friday's auction for this year's inaugural Aussie Home Loans T20 premier league that will start next week.
More than 40 players were put under the hammer, using fake money, and allotted into one of the four franchises competing this year.
Norton will play for the Betta Heat, which signed The Waves player for $2600.
"I think it is a good thing (being auctioned for that much),” he said.
"It was a surprise as I thought other top players would have been picked higher.”
Norton knows he's going to get a couple of sledges from not only his rivals in the competition but his teammates at The Waves.
"It does put pressure on myself,” he said.
"But if I contribute that will go along way to us winning matches.
"We've got experience guys so if I can play my part then that's all I need to do.”
Norton said he was looking forward to the competition after resuming cricket in the region last season.
"I started late last season and wasn't really under any expectation to do anything,” he said.
"I was just playing and getting involved with a few mates.
"But I think this will be good, hopefully quite a few people turn up.”
Norton was one of nine players selected for more than $2000 with Sean Stutchbury the next highest selected for the Takalvans Taipans at $2500.
The others were Andrew Mackay (Parklands), Kye Leggett (Parklands), Rod Jensen (Betta), Sam Pearson (Takalvans), Michael Loader (Searle's), Blyton Pendergast (Searle's) and Matt Fulton (Searle's) were the others.
The Bundaberg Cricket Association has now officially released the draw with Norton's side, the Betta Heat, to host the Parklands Pies on Saturday, October 26.
One game will be held each week until December 7 before the tournament takes a break for Christmas and New Year.
The competition resumes on January 18 with finals to take place on March 2 between the top two sides on the ladder.
The first game next week starts at 6.30pm.
DRAW: Betta Heat v Parkland Pies (October 26), Searle's RV Vikings v Takalvans Taipans (November 2), Parkland Pies v Searle's RV Vikings (November 9), Betta Heat v Takalvans Taipans (November 16), Takalvans Taipans v Parklands Pies (November 23), Searle's RV Vikings v Betta Heat (November 30), Parkland Pies v Searle's RV Vikings (December 7), Betta Heat v Takalvans Taipans (January 18), Searle's RV Vikings v Betta Heat (February 1), Takalvans Taipans v Parkland Pies (February 8), Takalvans Taipans v Searle's RV Vikings (February 15), Parkland Pies v Betta Heat (February 22)
Takalvans Taipans: Luke Owen (c), Brendan Schultz, Sean Stutchbury, David Boge, Sam Pearson, Ben Howard, Josh Wormington, Damian O'Neall, Mitch Waters, David Mulhall, Stephen Hamilton, Luke Solano.
Betta Heat: Jarrod Laycock (c), Paul Jagger, Aaron Kelly, Ryan Norton, Rod Jensen, Brendan Grills, Josh Brooks, Adam Herber, Mitch Wormington, Andy Porter, Hayden Pope, Ashley Helmore
Parkland Pies: Andrew McKay (c), Eric Petersen, Simon Kelly, Chris Duff, Kye Leggett, Matt Jackson, Todd Sommerfeld, Dan Hunt, Callum Neubecker, Shannon Smith, Damien Turner, Andrew Mackay
Searle's RV Centre: Greg Brady (c), Dean Krebs, Cam Henry, Jayden Larsen, Matt Fulton, Blyton Pendergast, Shaun Pinney, Lenny Childs, Dale Steele, Michael Loader, Shaun Rose, Storme Martin