Cream of the North Coast crop
By STEVE SPINKS
YOU have to admire Brett Crawford's attitude towards representative cricket.
Last year the Tintenbar-East Ballina batsman was controversially left out of the NSW Country team after he scored 298 runs at an average of 99.3 for North Coast at the selection trials at Dubbo.
If you scratch the surface, excuses from Country cricket abound from the fact he didn't score runs against Newcastle (North Coast didn't play Newcastle) or that he was not fit enough to last the distance of the 10-day Australian Country Cricket Championship which the Bush Blues competed in. Maybe.
But what's the point of having a selection carnival if you don't select the players who perform?
For most, a situation like Crawford's would have left a bitter taste in the mouth.
Instead the 'Bar captain has put aside his disappointment from last season and acted as Far North Coast selector for the North Coast team that was announced this week to contest the NSW Country Championship at Dubbo from November 16 to 18.
Crawford and his co-selectors have included the cream of Far North Coast's juniors and indeed the North Coast. Ten players in the squad of 12 are eligible for the North Coast Under-21 Colts team.
Only captain-coach Bill Newell, of Hastings Valley, and Coffs Harbour's Daryl Parmenter, a former Sydney first-grader with Randwick-Petersham, are over the age of 21.
The Far North Coast players selected are Casino's Sam Irvine, Sam Dietrich and Scott Sheppard, and Lismore Souths' Matt Parrish.
Irvine, despite his age, will be a senior batsman for the team, having been selected for NSW Country and NSW Country Colts previously.
Indeed, the talented Cavaliers right-hander hit one century and one half-century at last year's NSW Country carnival.
Irvine can also fill in as a wicketkeeper. It's believed spots for the Country team, especially at the top of the batting order, are up for grabs following the departure of Mark Littlewood to Adelaide and the doubtful availability of Robert Faraday-Bensley.
North Coast squad: Bill Newell(Hastings), Daryl Parementer, Joe Mennie, Ben Davis (Coffs), Adam Turner (Dorrigo), David Miller, Marcus Tickle (Manning), Aaron Jones (Maclean), Sam Irvine, Sam Dietrich, Scott Sheppard (Casino), Matt Parrish (Lismore).