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Firebirds named for Christmas Eve in Auckland

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Injuries, illness, and returning players see several changes to the Wellington Firebirds’ squad that travels to Auckland to meet the Aces on Christmas Eve.

The Firebirds’ squad is:

Hamish Marshall (Captain) Tom Blundell Michael Bracewell Devon Conway

Iain McPeake Ollie Newton Jeetan Patel

Samit Patel Alex Ridley Luke Ronchi Anurag Verma Luke Woodcock

After missing the Firebirds’ narrow loss to the Knights at home on Wednesday, Tom Blundell returns from illness while Luke Ronchi is back from the T10 League to line up for the first time this season. In the bowling unit, Ollie Newton comes in to the white ball squad for the first time in 2017-18 and Alex Ridley steps up for a potential debut.

Ridley, a 21-year-old fast bowler out of the Onslow club, was Cricket Wellington’s Under 23 Player of the Year last season. Coming through the local development system, Ridley was a star of the 2014-15 National Under 19 Tournament where he finished as the top wicket-taker and has shown strong form for the Wellington Provincial A side in recent seasons.

Among those missing from the squad that played the Knights are Matt Taylor (illness), Hamish Bennett, and Logan van Beek (both injured). The extent of Bennett and van Beek’s injuries are still being assessed and, with a heavy schedule over the festive season, they will be game-by-game prospects at this point.

The match against the Aces starts at 3:10pm on Sunday 24 December and will be live on Sky Sport.

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