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RYOBI Cup preview: Western Warriors

UPDATED 22 September, 2013 8:07PM AEDT | by Martin Gabor

After finishing last in 2012/13, Warriors coach Justin Langer will be hoping to guide his young side to RYOBI Cup glory in the new tournament format.

Welcome Aboard

The Alcohol. Think Again Western Warriors haven’t added any new players to their 2012/13 squad, instead placing a focus on the development of their talented young guns.

QUICK SINGLE: Chappell: Keep an eye on the next gen

Farewell

Western Australia says goodbye to one of its favourite sons, with Mike Hussey a notable absentee from this year's RYOBI Cup tournament. Australian cricket hasn’t seen the last of Hussey though, as his move to Sydney’s west means he will take on his former teammates in the KFC T20 Big Bash League later this summer.

After making his first-class debut back in 1994/95, the left-handed legend will be impossible to replace. Adam Voges looms as his most likely successor, although the experienced middle-order batsmen will be touring India with Australia's ODI squad for a majority of the domestic tournament.

Travis Birt and Michael Hogan also farewell the Warriors line-up this season. Birt was too inconsistent in 2012/13, as his big hitting game went missing.

The Path to Glory

With the Perth Scorchers set to be away for the start of the tournament on Champions League T20 duties, the Warriors will be forced to cram their six matches into an intensive 11 day slot.

Unlike most of the other states, Western Australia will be match-hardened and have their eye in when the competition commences. This should give them an early edge.

Mark this one in your Calendar

The Warriors open their campaign with a clash against the other state impacted by CLT20 commitments, the XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls. Both sides will be travel weary, but should be in peak condition by the time the first ball is bowled.

The two sides met once last year, with the Warriors enjoying a 110 run win at the Gabba. Voges (112) and Shaun Marsh (155*) starred with the bat, while a trio of bowlers each claimed three wickets.

Keep an Eye on…

Hard to go past Ashton Agar. The 19-year-old sensationally made his Test debut during the Ashes and hit 98 in the most incredible knock conceivable. He has 34 first-class wickets to his name and, according to many, is destined for greatness.

The Pressure’s on

With the Marsh brothers out injured, a lot of the pressure falls on the evergreen Marcus North. If the Warriors have one weakness, it is their batting depth. The experienced campaigner will need to score heavily if his side wants to succeed. 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia. 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 22 September, 2013 7:14PM AEDT

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