The Tasmanian Tigers and the XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls are set to reprise their Bupa Sheffield Shield finals battle for a second consecutive year at Blundstone Arena tomorrow.
The XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls are defending champions, but the Tasmanian Tigers will have the home advantage after they leap-frogged three teams in the final home-and-away round to finish on top of the ladder.
Tasmanian Tigers’ retiring coach Tim Coyle said his team is taking confidence from their run of form going into tomorrow’s game, as well as their recent finals experience.
“We're in as good form as we could possibly be,” he said. "We've been in four one-day finals and now four Sheffield Shield finals in the last seven years. We're an experienced finals team.”
This is Tasmania’s third consecutive Bupa Sheffield Shield final, winning only once in 2010-11, and presents a chance for former Australian captain Ricky Ponting to win his first trophy with his state team. Ponting will be hoping to carry his brilliant domestic batting form (875 runs at an average of 87) into tomorrow’s game after being crowned Bupa Sheffield Shield Player of the Year in Hobart yesterday.
Meanwhile, XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls will be aiming for their eighth Shield title since winning for the first time in 1994-95.
Bulls captain James Hopes said his team was looking forward to taking on the Tasmanian Tigers in this Shield final re-match.
“Anyone who was involved in last year’s final between the two teams knows what an outstanding game of cricket it was, so we know that we’ll have to be at our best if we are to cap off our year with a win. Shield finals are as close as you’re going to get to a Test match without playing in one, and our young blokes will gain invaluable experience by being a part of this.
“We’ve had one of those sort of years where we have had some luck, but as Boof has pointed out, we have made some of our own luck by not giving up and playing tough, competitive cricket when we have needed to. Finals are what you play the game for, so we’re thrilled to be coming down to Hobart.
“It’s great to know that we’re going to be involved in showcasing the Sheffield Shield again. It is a world class competition, and one that deserves to be given a high profile and priority in Australian cricket,” Hopes said.
The Bupa Sheffield Shield finals appearance gives Queensland an opportunity to complete a clean-sweep of domestic cricket titles this season, having already won the RYOBI One-Day Cup last month and Brisbane Heat taking home the KFC T20 Big Bash League title in January.
The final will start at 10.45am at Blundstone Arena tomorrow and will be broadcast on Fox Sports and on ABC radio analogue and digital channels and abc.net.au, as well as live scores and live blog on www.cricket.com.au
Tickets for the Bupa Sheffield Shield final are available at the gate and are $10 for an adult, $5 for child/concession and $25 for a family pass.
Match details - Bupa Sheffield Shield Final, 22-26 March
Tasmanian Tigers v XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls, Blundstone Arena, 10.45am
Broadcast: Match broadcast live on Fox Sports 3 from 10.30am AEDT, on ABC radio analogue and digital channels and abc.net.au. Live scores and blog on cricket.com.au and through our twitter handle @CricketAus
Gates open: 9.30am (members) and 10am (public)
Tickets: Tickets for the Bupa Sheffield Shield final are available at the gate and are $10 for an adult, $5 for child/concession and $25 for a family pass.
Session times: 10.45am – 12.45pm | 1.15pm – 3.15pm | 3.45pm - 5.45pm
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 21 March, 2013 11:40AM AEST