Brothers boost for revamped season
FRESH from a successful season playing indoor cricket, Brothers cricket captain Craig Cumming is keen to see his first grade side back in the finals' mix.
With the new-look Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association season starting on October 8, Brothers are like most clubs still yet to have everyone back from other sports.
However, experienced campaigner Cumming expects Brothers to field a strong and stable top grade side when the revamped format starts.
Ipswich and Toowoomba competition sides will play in a one-day series for the first 8-10 weeks of the new season.
"I think it's good,'' Cumming said of the revised format before two-day matches are played.
"It's great to play against other players and other teams. You sort of get a bit used to playing against the same people week-in, week-out.
"It's good to have something different.''
Accomplished batsman and handy bowler Cumming has been one of Ipswich's most consistent cricketers for a number of years.
However, a hernia operation and some injury issues restricted his playing time last season.
Turning 38 in January, he's keen to concentrate on helping Brothers this season rather than juggling club and representative cricket duties.
Cumming feels ready to lead his outdoor side having recently shared in Ipswich Super League successes in A-grade and over-35 indoor competitions.
"It's good playing cricket on the weekends, hanging around with the blokes and all that,'' he said.
The arrival of new coach Peter Blanchfield is also timely as Brothers look to bring on promising young bowlers like Lachlan Bilyj, Johnathon Bill and Dylan Schoenfisch.
"He'll be overseeing things and all that,'' Cumming said, welcoming Blanchfield's assistance.
"He's a bit more hands-on in the coaching area. Peter Blanchfield is really into it.
"He'll bring something good to the club.''
Brothers have been training for six weeks on Tuesday and Thursday nights at their Wildey Street base.
"We are still waiting for numbers to show up and all that, through the lower grades,'' Cumming said.
"The first grade boys are coming back. We've pretty much got everyone (from last season) back.''
Another key player returning is seasoned wicketkeeper and former Brothers captain Luke Dixon.
"He's real keen this year,'' Cumming said of his gloveman who can score handy runs down the order when needed.
Last season, Brothers made the one-day final and just missed making the semi-finals in the hotly contested two-day series.
"We could have had a better year but I thought we done well last year and hopefully we can either maintain that or even go one better in the two-day comp,'' the captain said.
Brothers' early challenge is to keep pace with last season's dominant force Laidley, which won its seventh two-day title in 12 years after also clinching the T20 and one-day grand finals.
Look out for more club previews as the new season approaches.