Centrals captain Ben O'Connell.
Centrals captain Ben O'Connell. Rob Williams

Centrals stocks healthy for revamped format

LAST season's grand finalists Centrals start the revamped club cricket season on Saturday with most of its top players intact and ready to meet the new challenges.

Centrals coach Scott Barrett is happy the core of his side is back to contest the new one-day format involving Ipswich and Toowoomba first grade sides.

Centrals are scheduled to play Swifts first-up at Mark Marsh Oval under the 45-over format.

After Centrals' top side reached the two-day grand final against Laidley last season, Barrett is pleased to see Ipswich allrounder Adam O'Sullivan returning when he completes his football commitments.

Queensland Country player Ben O'Connell will continue captaining the side with last season's IWMCA player of the year Luke Barrett as vice-captain.

Barrett will open the batting with Jason O'Sullivan.

Southport based teacher Michael Abbott will be among Centrals' opening fast bowlers along with Blake Raper, Rhys O'Sullivan and hard-working second grade bowlers.

Alex O'Sullivan and under-16 prospect Jacob Hislop will be wicketkeepers.

Brisbane Wests-bound Nick Vellacott is one loss this season. "It's an opportunity to play grade cricket in Brissie. I hope he does well,'' Barrett said.

The coach expects Centrals to at least match last season's successes.

"The only thing we were disappointed in last year was our second and third grade didn't finish in finals,'' he said. "We're looking to change that this year.''

Like other coaches around the region, Barrett is still waiting for confirmation of the new rules.

"I'm happy to play Toowoomba in the competition the way it is set out,'' Barrett said.

However, the SEQ T20 coach would have preferred a 50 over format, rather than 45 overs, starting earlier than 11.30am.

"You've just got to approach the game differently,'' Barrett said.

"With the 45 overs, it becomes like a 20/20. You're looking to hit a hundred in that last 10 overs.''

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