Will the Central Stags do the three-peat? It’s the number one question that’s going to be buzzing round the traps as New Zealand’s premier One-Day competition gets underway this weekend.
Back-to-back champions the Stags are coming off a hot season of McDonald’s Super Smash and the fact they fell at the final hurdle to the Wellington Firebirds will only make captain Will Young’s exciting side all the more determined to go all the way in the format they’ve owned for the past two seasons.
They have claimed the trophy three times in the past five years, but a three-peat is a rare thing — Lee Germon’s star-studded Canterbury side of the 1990s the last to have ticked it off, winning the title in 1992, 1993 and 1994.
Canterbury is the only side to have done it, and they’ve done it twice — the first instance was in the early years, starting in the 1975/76 season.
They have won the most titles overall with 13; were also the inaugural winners in 1971/72, and they were the beaten finalists at Pukekura Park last summer when the Stags brought it home with a big-scoring 2016 Ford Trophy Grand Final that featured a stunning George Worker century (159) and then the fastest domestic List A 50 in New Zealand history by star in the making Tom Bruce.
Stags seamer Seth Rance would also be tops as the leading white ball wicket-taker, form he has backed up this season in the T20 format. But the only history that matters to the players this summer is the kind they can make.
The 2017 Ford Trophy takes action and entertainment to all our big cities plus further afield, so if you’re in the hood in Palmerston North, Whangarei or Invercargill, this is the chance to take the kids along to see some white ball cricket turned on to the max by leading players.
Friendly pricing makes one-day domestic cricket great value for a day's entertainment with family and friends over summer weekends — perfect for everyone to enjoy top level cricket. Weekdays? No better place to have your lunch than on the bank watching some cricket.
The warfare begins on Sunday this weekend in Rangiora (where the Stags will be visiting Canterbury), Dunedin (McDonald’s Super Smash champs the Firebirds up against the Otago Volts) and Auckland’s popular Eden Park Outer Oval where one of the most exciting young teams of the season will be clashing with Northern Districts.
It’s a fast-moving competition and, with only eight rounds before the February playoffs, teams have no time to lose as they look to add some sparkle to their season.
Ford Trophy tickets are available at the gate or check out your local team’s own website for more.