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Big test for Hack

Thursday, 2nd January, 2020

Skipper Dion Stratford presents Broken Hill’s Tobias Hack with his Outbacks cap. PICTURE: Peter Argent Skipper Dion Stratford presents Broken Hill’s Tobias Hack with his Outbacks cap. PICTURE: Peter Argent

By Peter Argent

Presented his baggy red cap by new captain Dion Stratford, North Broken Hill cricketer Tobias Hack will become a SA Outback cricketer on Friday, January 3, when the South Australian countryside plays its opening day’s cricket at the 20/20 Australian country cricket Championships in Toowoomba, Queensland.

The SA Outbacks, under the tutelage of long-term coach Paul Pasculli, held a final training session at the state’s Favell-Dansie facility at Adelaide Oval yesterday, and today are flying up to Toowoomba departing on a 4.30am flight from Adelaide Airport. 

The new look SA Outbacks team for the 2020 championships includes 12 new caps amongst the 14-man squad.

Only two players are returning, skipper and Mount Gambier wicketkeeper-batsman Dion Stratford, and South Gawler left-arm orthodox spinner Dave Golder. 

There is a strong sprinkling of youth with five teenagers, including 17-year-old Evan Gregoric from Berri, Jackson Murphy from the Eyre Peninsula, Curramulka batsman Lachlan Pointon, fellow Prince Alfred College first XI cricketer Cooper Luke from the Adelaide Hills and Mitchell Fuss from Port Pirie

Hack, who turns 28 in April this year, will be one of the senior members of the side despite being a first-year player at this level. 

“This is definitely the biggest test of my career so far from a cricketing perspective,” Hack told the Barrier Daily Truth. 

“There is also a massive amount of pride. 

“Equally, there has been a lot of hard work and plenty of support from many people at the North Broken Hill Cricket Club.

“My form has not been too bad, although there has been lot of travel, but when I played I’ve been hitting the ball reasonably.

“While there hasn’t been a lot of discussion with the coaching staff yet, I’d expect my role will be predominately in middle order.  

“This will be my first time playing cricket in Queensland.”

Before this trip, Hack’s biggest cricket event on the road was to Bankstown sister city school-based competition in Sydney.

 “This is a big opportunity, in the role as a semi-professional cricketer for a couple of weeks.” 

Australia’s best country cricketers are descending on Toowoomba for the Australian Country Cricket Championships from January 3 to January 11.

New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia will feature teams in  the men’s and women’s divisions, whilst the Australian Capital Territory re-joins the men’s division for the first time since 2014.

An annual exhibition match will see the Bulls Masters All Stars take centre stage on January 5, when former Australian cricketers Nathan Hauritz, Michael Kasprowicz, Andy Bichel, Brian May and more will turn back the clock in a Twenty20 match against the Australian Country XI.

The SA Outbacks start with a T20 fixture against New South Wales on Friday at the Captain Cook Reserve in the morning, and then follow up in the afternoon with a clash against 2019 title winners, Western Australia. 

Hack is the first Silver City player this century to don an Outbacks cap.

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