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Door opens for ACT Comets to produce more stars

7 October 2018 7:36 AM
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"I know Blake Macdonald or Tom Engelbrecht are not physically playing in the Canberra competition at the moment, but they are still Canberra players," Piper said.

"Tommy Engelbrecht can still thank his parents for driving up from Tuross, and Western District-UC and everything. They helped him become who he is.

"That message remains constant, it’s our job just to keep on producing players and shipping them off so we can cheer on players.

"Everyone gets excited about Nathan Lyon, who is now the greatest off-spinner of all time, he played for the Comets and Western Districts, that’s a pretty good thing for us to be proud of.

The Comets are preparing for a revamped Futures League season which includes a Twenty20 tournament to be played in late January.

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ACT/NSW Country will face Queensland, NSW Metropolitan and the Cricket Australia under 19s in their Twenty20 pool to give Canberra players another avenue to press their claims for future Big Bash League contracts.

The ACT will continue to field a side in the Sydney Twenty20 Cup and Piper hopes more exposure to the short format will open the door for more to follow in the footsteps of Jono Dean and Ben Oakley.

"There is now a genuine pathway in both red ball and white ball for players, and that’s really cool," Piper said.

"It’s pretty clear now, you do well in white ball stuff in Canberra, you do well in playing for our ACT side in the [Sydney Twenty20] Cup, and you’ll earn an opportunity to play in the Twenty20 stuff at the back end of January.

"I’m sure Big Bash franchises will be keeping a keen eye on that, not necessarily for contracts for this year because that will be right at the back end of the tournament, but making decision on guys for next year."

October 8-11: Round 1 - ACT/NSW Country Comets v Queensland at Manuka Oval, 10.30am.

October 22-25: Round 2 - ACT/NSW Country Comets v Western Australia at Chisholm Oval, 10.30am.

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Source: brisbanetimes.com.au

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