Talented Taranaki batsman William Young is back out in the middle.
The 20-year-old has been included in the 12-man Central Districts Stags squad that begins its one-day Ford Trophy title defence against the Northern Districts Knights in Nelson today.
Young has been sidelined for a month because of a broken finger.
"It's fully recovered now, so I'm looking forward to getting back into it and playing for the Stags again," Young said.
"I don't know what the makeup of the final 11 is until it is named tomorrow [this] morning, but I'm pretty confident I'll get picked to play. Hopefully I'll be on the road with the Stags until the end of March."
Two of the eight matches in the Ford Trophy competition are scheduled for New Plymouth's Pukekura Park - against the Otago Volts on Sunday, March 10, and the Wellington Firebirds on Sunday, March 17.
Young said the Stags' confidence was sky high after the side's victory in the Plunket Shield four-day championship on Saturday.
"We've just got to take as much momentum from that as we can. "Fingers crossed we can successfully defend our Ford Trophy title and finish up with a couple of trophies in the cabinet at the end of the season."
Young was called back into the Stags' squad early last week when they assembled in Nelson for the final round of the Plunket Shield.
But his involvement was restricted to net sessions at trainings and 12th man duties.
After spending the summer at home in New Plymouth, Young is now back flatting in Christchurch where he is studying geology at Canterbury University.
During his return to fitness, Young played a two-day match for his club side Burnside a couple of weeks ago.
"The hand was fine, I was 65 not out in the first innings and in the second innings I made 40-odd."
Today's game will be played on the same wicket Central Districts beat Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield at the weekend.
"It will be pretty flat," Young said. "It won't be a batsman's paradise or anything like that though. Hopefully I can get some runs, if I do get out on the park."
Despite missing the post-Christmas matches, Young said he had enjoyed being a part of the Plunket Shield success.
"I was very lucky to be a part of it in what was my first full season with the team," he said.
"Things were pretty tense in the final match. Everyone not out on the park on Saturday was on their phones checking the progress on the New Zealand Cricket website to get updates.
"When we found out Wellington had beaten Otago meaning we had won [the shield], everyone on the sideline was cheering and there was a lot of hugging and hand shaking going on.
"The others out in the middle slowly clicked on that we had won and the game sort of petered out."
Central had not won the Plunket Shield since the 2005-06 season.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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