Craig named Plunket Shield captain ahead of season launch

08 Oct 2018


Tuesday 9 October 2018

Craig named Plunket Shield captain ahead of season launch

Otago Volts Head Coach Rob Walter today announced Mark Craig as captain for the 2018/19 Plunket Shield season, while Selector Warren McSkimming announced the first Otago playing squad to take on Northern Districts at Bay Oval starting Wednesday 10 October.

Craig brings abundant domestic and international experience and leadership to a young squad. “I’m excited about this new role. It’s an honour and a privilege to captain Otago in the Plunket Shield. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel, rather be authentic to who I am, and how the other boys see me in the group. With the added responsibility of being captain, not much will change as to how I go about doing things”.

Head Coach Rob Walter says: “Mark has developed a genuine connection with members of this team and is a man who is selfless and has great capacity for care. All wonderful qualities of good leadership and no doubt qualities that the players see and respect. At the same time is a wonderful cricketer who has plenty to offer in all departments. He has put significant amounts of time into all aspects of his game over the winter and I know he will be itching to lead this younger, less experienced group of lads on to the park on Wednesday.

The playing team to take on Northern Districts as named by Warren McSkimming at the Otago Cricket season launch is:

Matt Bacon
Mark Craig (Captain)
Jacob Duffy
Josh Finnie
Shawn Hicks
Josh Tasman Jones
Mitch Renwick
Michael Rippon
Hamish Rutherford
Nathan Smith
Christi Viljoen
Brad Wilson

The Volts enter the four day campaign with a fresh look, one that signals a new era with a mix of experience and exciting youth. Mitch Renwick will make his Otago debut behind the stumps and in the middle order, while youngsters Nathan Smith and Josh Finnie look set to be given increased responsibility after promising preseason form.

Craig points to the planning and preparation that has gone into the preseason as a reason to feel optimistic about the new season. “There is something different about this group, real energy which is exciting and positive. We are looking at our first match against ND as the perfect challenge, to be able to test ourselves and see where we are as a group. That is why you play the game, to test yourself and mark up against the best and see how you get on.”

The Volts will play two back to back Plunket Shield matches before entering a full 10 rounds of Ford Trophy starting 24 October.