With the Bushfire T20 Showdown announced for Sunday, February 2, one of the next steps is picking a starting XI to take on Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.
A selection panel or process is yet to be identified, and there are murmurings that try-outs could be held in the coming weeks to identify the best available talent.
In anticipation of a squad unveiling, we’ve put on our selectors' cap and looked into which Crows (and Crows Ambassadors) might feature in the XI. There are a number of talented cricketers at West Lakes, so it could be a hard side to squeeze into.
A hypothetical Crows XI for the T20 Showdown
1. Alex Carey
2. Paul Seedsman
3. Matt Crouch
4. Brad Crouch
5. Chloe Scheer
6. Brodie Smith
7. Tom Lynch
8. Rashid Khan
9. Taylor Walker
10. Fischer McAsey
11. Megan Schutt
With some star cricketers set to participate in the Bushfire T20 Showdown, the Crows Ambassador is the obvious choice to lead the side if available. Carey is a proven match-winner with the bat, averaging over 40 in International limited overs cricket. The wicketkeeper/batsman is the current vice-captain for the Adelaide Strikers, as well as Australia’s ODI and T20 teams.
Selectors won’t be able to overlook Seedsman, who is the in-form cricketer of the team. Just last month, he smacked a half-century off only 29 balls in a local Twenty20 competition – including four sixes. He then followed it up the ball, taking 4/18 from four overs and leading Prince Alfred Old Collegians to a 33-run win over Adelaide University.
At Friday afternoon’s media call, Crouch was declared the best cricketer at the Club by captain Rory Sloane. He was a more than handy cricketer as a youngster, making his A Grade debut for North Ballarat as a 14-year-old, before going on to represent Victoria in Under 17 National Championships. He’s also learned from the best, facing an over in 2018 from Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, Adelaide Strikers’ MVP two years running. Will serve as Carey's understudy behind the stumps.
Brad gave up cricket at 14 to concentrate on football, but was known as a talented all-rounder known for steaming in off the long run. He was runner-up best and fairest as a junior with the Ballarat Cricket Associaton’s fourth-grade side boasting impressive numbers with both bat and ball.
Adelaide doesn’t just have Victorian junior cricketers in its ranks, with Scheer having played underage cricket for South Australia. Scheer played as a top-order batter who also bowled some handy leg spin. Recently, current Australian Women’s assistant coach Shelley Nitschke told AFC Media that Scheer had so much talent, that she could have been just as successful in cricket than she has been in football.
He hasn't wielded the willow for a while, but in 2008, a 16-year-old Smith steered Grange's C3 team to victory over Concordia OC with a dashing century. Chasing 174, the Dolphins were in strife at 3/9 as Smith strode to the crease. There was nothing to worry about as the dashing defender built sizeable partnerships with the lower order on his way to 114.
Cricket runs in the Lynch family, with his father Andrew currently working as Victoria’s Chairman of Selectors. Andrew also previously taught Tom at Haileybury College, where Tom played alongside Australian fast bowler and close mate James Pattinson, who recently took six wickets in the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand. Tom was a good cricketer in his own right, representing Victoria at junior level.
We’re being proactive here and claiming the world’s best T20 bowler as our own. The Adelaide Strikers superstar had a nets session with Matt Crouch in 2017 and was presented with a Crows guernsey afterwards, which surely makes him eligible for our starting XI. The invite is our there, now we're just waiting for an official confirmation. Happy to guarantee Rashid his full four overs then sit back and watch him bamboozle whoever is lucky enough to take guard.
Tex was the first Crow to put his hand up to play in the Bushfire T20 Showdown, but the key forward has proven his ability to do damage with ball in hand. Over the last two seasons, Walker has played five games for PAOC, taking 12 wickets at an average of 7.5, with best figures of 4/17. Can also slog some handy boundaries coming in late in the batting order.
Adelaide’s top draft pick from 2019 might be able to sneak a spot in the team – if his form in the backyard as a kid is anything to go by. According to his Instagram, McAsey used to play ‘Test Series’ out the back of his house, barefoot on the grass. If he does get in the side, he might need to work on his technique, though.
Schutt is not only a lifelong Crows supporter, but an international cricket star who has taken two international hat-tricks while representing Australia. She currently sits atop the ICC’s T20I Bowling Rankings and No.2 in the ODI Bowling Rankings, which means it’s an easy decision to throw her the new ball and give her the opportunity to rip through the opposition's top order.