The squad: Chris Lynn (c), Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Luke Feldman, Sam Heazlett, Charlie Hemphrey, Lachlan Pfeffer, Jack Prestwidge, Billy Stanlake, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Sam Truloff, Jack Wildermuth
Possible starting XI: Burns, Bryant, Lynn, Truloff, Heazlett, Pfeffer (wk), Wildermuth, Steketee, Feldman, Swepson, Stanlake
Who they're missing: Jimmy Peirson (injured), Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Michael Neser, Marnus Labuschagne, Brendan Doggett (all Australia duties)
The 2017 result: Fifth
The inside word with Jack Wildermuth
Young gun: "There's some exciting players coming through. Max Bryant has been going really well in the winter and I think he's a chance for a game with a few blokes out. I'm excited to see what he can do – if he's batting with Lynny at the top, they could get us off to some really good starts. He's a younger Chris Lynn, I reckon. He did pretty well opening the batting for the CA XI last year but he's really come on in the winter. He hits the ball hard and very long – he's pretty explosive at the top. And Jack Prestwidge. Losing Ben Cutting, Jack's in a similar mould, especially with his lower-order batting which I think will be really handy. He bowls really good pace, so if he's fit and going and with a few boys in the UAE, I reckon he could step up and do a really good job for us."
Player to watch: Chris Lynn. With his power at the top, he's a player who can do some real damage and with an eye on the World Cup next year, I reckon he'll have himself match-ready and he'll want to come out and prove that he should be in that side. He should have a good year. Having that captaincy responsibility as well, he'll really take that on and get us off to some great starts, then we can all bat around him. He got some really good training in with us before he left for the CPL. He was looking really good, hitting the ball a long way. He kept in touch with the boys and he's a good guy to have around the group so we're excited to have him back."
Team strength: Added experience. The last couple of years we've had slow starts getting into the tournament and we've been one game off or so (from reaching the finals). There's guys in the team who have a few years of experience now, and I think as a group we've had some good experiences the last couple of years, and I think all that will be good for us this year." Biggest threat: "It's tough. If WA can get all their guys nice and fit, they'll be tough again, after winning it last year. They'll be a good challenge. Tassie have got a nice squad, too. They've got some really good experience. We played them in the final of the Shield last year and they'll be tough work as well. But any team on their day can beat anyone else – that’s the exciting thing about this tournament."
The fixtures September 16 v Victoria (Townsville) September 22 v Tasmania (Townsville) September 25 v South Australia (Hurstville) September 28 v Western Australia (Hurstville) October 1 v New South Wales (Drummoyne)