First XI plan tour of Aussie
The Timaru Boys' High School first XI cricket team will have one eye on the future as they embark on a five-match tour of Australia in January.
The 12-strong squad will play five 50-over match against rural New South Wales school teams, during their 12-day tour, which departs on January 3.
None of the team was part of its last Australian adventure in 2007 and coach Jeremy Hogan said the benefits would be felt over the next few years.
"We're calling it a development tour . . . where we have a young bunch of cricketers coming through and we see this as the perfect way to gell them as a team and improve them as players.
"This is an investment in the future and we see this team as the next two or three years of [TBHS] cricket."
Year 13 players had not been up for selection "because they're gone and we're not going to get a return on the investment", and the school was looking to fill gaps over the next couple of years.
"We lose our two strike bowlers at the end of (2013), so it's about developing a new strike bowling attack."
Hogan said a new wicket-keeper, spinner and captain for the long-term could also emerge.
The heat and quicker, bouncier pitches in Australia would be something his team would need to adjust to, but he felt he had the bowling lineup to threaten.
Hogan said while they knew very little about their opposition, he hoped the tour would have a quick effect on his players, with several interschool fixtures in the new year that could define their season.
As a team-building exercise, the squad will go to the third day of the Australia versus Sri Lanka test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground before their matches get underway.