New one-day cup is at stake for reps to chase
The Manawatu representative team have a chance of winning another piece of silverware in a new quadrangular tournament this summer.
Manawatu will play Wairarapa, Wellington City and Hutt Valley for the Tararua Cup, a new one-day competition for the coming season.
Manawatu will play Chapple Cup and Hawke Cup competitions, so Manawatu coach Mike Mason was pleased to have more representative games added to the calendar.
"We used to play them [Wellington City and Hutt Valley] a little bit in the past and we're trying to get a few more games in," he said.
"So we decided to chuck a trophy on it."
The dates of the new competition are yet to be confirmed except the game against Wairarapa, to be played in Masterton on October 14.
The rest of the details about the competition are unclear and Mason wasn't sure if the prize would be a shield or a trophy.
The rest of the competition is likely to be played out between the one-day Chapple Cup and the four-day Hawke Cup competitions.
The Tararua Cup will give Manawatu a hitout before the Chapple Cup starts, which is likely to be a three-day knockout tournament from October 20-22.
"It will be tough to win, if we can win three days of cricket at that time of year. Just about the fittest team will win it."
Manawatu are the holders of the Chapple Cup after they beat Hawke's Bay in the final last year.
It will also be a welcome warmup for a busy summer with the Hawke Cup competition, which Manawatu will want to earn themselves a shot at it after Wairarapa was the Central Districts challenger last season.
The Manawatu rep side has started pre-season training but a lot of players won't join them until closer to the season.
Manawatu may miss two of their key players this summer, with all-rounder Roald Badenhorst and wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Cleaver likely to feature more for Central Districts.
Cleaver may see more of a chance for CD in the shorter formats while gloveman Kruger van Wyk is with the Black Caps and Badenhorst may be required as an extra seamer, especially with Manawatu paceman Adam Milne making the New Zealand side for the Twenty20 World Cup.