Hurricanes heading north for the winter
The Hobart Hurricanes have joined the NT Strike League as the competition's fifth team for at least three seasons
28 March 2019, 08:01 AM AEST
The Hobart Hurricanes are trading a chilly Tasmanian winter for the intense heat of the Northern Territory.
The big move and inevitable climate shock comes with vast opportunities for the Hurricanes, who will play as a fifth team in the NT Strike League for at least the next three seasons.
The Hurricanes will be based in Darwin and play for three weeks in August. The team will be made up of currently listed Hobart players and members of the Hurricanes Academy.
"Playing matches against high quality opposition in the NT men's team during the week, aside from the Strike League, on the first-class facilities at Marrara will benefit the senior players in our program too," coach Adam Griffith said.
The NT Strike League has been running since 2017 and has previously comprised of four local teams. Notably, the competition drew attention for hosting the returns of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft last season when the pair lined up for the City Cyclones and Desert Blaze respectively.
The Hurricanes have also been well represented in the winter tournament. Fast bowler Aaron Summers is a premiership player with the Cyclones and has become somewhat of a star up north thanks to his express pace and sometimes erratic bowling.
Teammates Jake Doran and Jake Reed were both marquee players for the Northern Tide last season, while Hurricanes Academy prospect Charlie Wakim lined up for the Southern Storm.
All four are likely to return to the Top End in August as members of the Hurricanes.
"It's an opportunity to gain valuable match practice against quality opposition from the NT and other interstate players," Wakim said.
"Playing games during pre-season is great for players to put into practice all the things you've been working hard on."
In addition to benefiting the players, the presence of the BBL team is being labelled a "game changer" for Northern Territory cricket.
NT Cricket CEO Joel Morrison said the partnership provides "an unprecedented opportunity for Territory players to play against a professional cricket team in an NT competition, in their own backyard".
"The NT Strike League has been an incredible success story since it launched in 2017, and this partnership will take the event to a whole new level," Morrison said.
The Hurricanes aren't averse to finding unique ways of preparation for the Big Bash League. The club hosted the Auckland Aces for a series of practice matches in December 2018 and have also held Academy tours in New Zealand.
The Hurricanes will travel to Darwin in August for the commencement of the competition.