Zac Simmonds named for Riverina

WELCOME HOME: Zac Simmonds will play for Riverina after just arriving back home from another stint with English club, Market Deeping.
WELCOME HOME: Zac Simmonds will play for Riverina after just arriving back home from another stint with English club, Market Deeping.

Belvoir’s Zac Simmonds will represent Riverina on Friday, just 72 hours after arriving back in the country.

“It’s a very good carnival to be involved in and to be allowed to participate again,” he said.

The 24-year-old completed his second season with Market Deeping Cricket Club, considered one of Lincolnshire’s leading clubs.

The right-arm off-spinner bowled a marathon 414.4 overs, with his nearest team-mate on 208.

Simmonds more than doubled the next leading wicket-taker, claiming 73 at 23.07 apiece.

“I think you improve mainly in just being able to adapt to different conditions, the boundaries are a lot smaller than here and you’re coming up against batsmen of a high quality,” he said.

“The fact that they play one-dayers all the time, their batsmen generally like to get on with it a bit more.”

Simmonds says he altered his bowling plans overseas.

“I’m more of a skiddy spinner and playing on some of the pitches over there where the ball holds up, I’ve had to change my style a little bit,” he said.

“You can’t get away with it trying to bowl a bit quicker, it sits up anyway, but maybe bowl with a little bit more flight.

“I’ve started to bowl around the wicket to right-handers a little more to change the angle.”

It will be Simmonds’ third year at Riverina level, although last year was disrupted when he re-injured his back on day one.

He’ll be joined by six CAW players in Jack Craig, Josh Warren, Drew Cameron, Ryan Brown, Jarryd Hatton and Dylan Weeding.

Wagga, Griffith and Yass are also represented.

Last year’s outfit finished a credible second, so selectors have stuck with largely the same team for the Kiama carnival against Illawarra, ACT Southern and Western. 

Wodonga-based Robbie Jackson will again coach the team.

“He’s a good motivator, he gets respect from everyone,” Simmonds said.

Jackson stepped down as Border Bullets’ coach following the Regional Bash carnival in Griffith last weekend.