Wellington Scoop

Firebirds team named for historic Plunket Shield round at Stadium

News from Wellington Cricket
The Wellington Firebirds team to play the Otago Volts under lights at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium from Monday to Thursday has been named.

The Firebirds squad features several changes from their previous match, with Michael Pollard, Matt Taylor and Luke Ronchi joining the side. Taylor will be involved for Day 1 before stepping aside for Ronchi after his mandatory break following the BLACKCAPS’ ODI series.

The round sees competition for the Plunket Shield move under lights for the first time in its history. With the Firebirds shifting down the round from their usual Basin Reserve venue, it is also the first time that Westpac Stadium has hosted First-Class cricket. Firebirds Coach Bruce Edgar is realistic about the challenges that come with the unique circumstances of this round:

We’ve gone from white ball to red ball to pink ball in a short space of time, and there are some unique challenges that come with day/night First-Class cricket. There are a lot of unknowns with how the ball will behave in daylight, transition to lights, and then perform under full-powered lights.

The match starts at 2.30pm and entry is free. No vendors will be open at Westpac Stadium so Cricket Wellington encourage fans to bring their own supplies, in line with Westpac Stadium’s guidelines. Don’t miss the opportunity to see history being made alongside what is likely to be some exciting cricket, as highlighted by Edgar:

With all these variables, and the obvious lack of experience that comes with this being the first pink ball round ever, we should see an intriguing match.

The Wellington Firebirds squad is:

Michael Papps (Captain)

Brent Arnel

Hamish Bennett

Tom Blundell

Hamish Marshall

Matt McEwan

Iain McPeake

Stephen Murdoch

Michael Pollard

Luke Ronchi (from Day 2)

Matt Taylor (Day 1 only)

Anurag Verma

Luke Woodcock

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