Here at World Cricket Badger, we are introducing a Team of the Week feature where we look in depth into a state, county or franchise. We will be working our way around the globe. This week we start off in Australia with the country’s most successful state during the last couple of years, Queensland Bulls.
Queensland are set to begin the defence of their Ryobi Cup title against Western Australia in Sydney in a few hours knowing they have to hit the ground running, according to their skipper James Hopes.
The Bulls, having not been in action for the first week of the competition due to Brisbane Heat’s involvement at the Champions League, have been preparing for the new summer whilst watching the 2012/13 beaten finalists Victoria get off to a flyer.
There are obvious advantages of the Heat’s success in Twenty20 cricket, but Queensland having little margin for error is a downside.
“We are defending champions, so it’s been tough to watch Victoria get three from three. But the advantage that we have is that it is six games in 10 or 11 days. If we get off to a good start, we can get on a roll,” said all-rounder Hopes.
“We’re hoping to be there or there abouts come the end of the tournament.”
After their opener at Bankstown, the Bulls face a crunch clash against the Bushrangers at the North Sydney Oval on Sunday.
Test pacer Ryan Harris will miss both matches as Cricket Australia continue to monitor his recovery from a hamstring injury ahead of the Ashes. But Hopes ensured Bulls fans their spearhead will be back soon.
“He is not going to play in the first two games, but he’s slated to play the third, fifth and sixth games and then the semi and the final if we get there and then the first couple of Shield games,” he added.
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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