The McDonald’s Super Smash is set to be boosted by the availability of several BLACKCAPS.
Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Todd Astle turned out for the Canterbury Kings last Sunday, while the Otago Volts and Knights will be the next squads to benefit from returning BLACKCAPS - with BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner and Jimmy Neesham all potentially taking the field at University Oval this afternoon.
And that’s merely an entrée for what’s to come, with things ramping up even further from Thursday through to Sunday when six McDonald’s Super Smash matches will be staged.
The Knights are playing a doubleheader across the weekend between Hamilton and Mt Maunganui and will be helped in their efforts by BLACKCAPS Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
Southee is available for the game against the Auckland Aces on Saturday in Hamilton and the match against the Otago Volts in beautiful Mt Maunganui on Sunday, while Trent Boult is available for Sunday’s match.
The presence of Boult and Southee will give the Knights an impressive international feel with BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Corey Anderson and Ish Sodhi also part of their BLACKCAPS arsenal.
White ball supremo Martin Guptill, now rated sixth in the ICC ODI batting rankings, will also feature in the near future, most probably for the Auckland Aces’ December 22nd clash with the Wellington Firebirds.
Guptill’s return to the Aces line up could see the Auckland side field a batting order in which the majority of players have played international cricket – including some of the most destructive batsmen in the competition: Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme, Jeet Raval, Rob Nicol and Mark Chapman.
Fun fact? Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol and Mark Chapman all scored centuries on ODI debut.
Along with that powerful batting line up the defending champion Aces can also call on some impressive talent with the ball.
Mitchell McClenaghan and Tarun Nethula, and speedsters Lockie Ferguson and Tymal Mills, mean the Aces will be bristling with threats throughout the line-up at the end of December.
The Auckland Aces and Canterbury Kings meet twice this week and if last Sunday’s game is any indication fans should be prepared for fireworks when Auckland play host to Canterbury at Eden Park No.2 on Sunday.