New Zealand domestic season ready for start
Sun, Nov 9, 2008 12:00 AM
The 2008/09 State Championship season gets under way tomorrow [Monday 10 November] with current champions, the State Canterbury Wizards, taking on the State Auckland Aces, third-placed qualifiers last season, in a four-day match at Mainpower Oval, Rangiora.
Canterbury will be aiming to follow up its winning form from the 2007/08 season, when it secured a hard-fought 49 run win over five days against top qualifiers the State Wellington Firebirds.
The new season of State Championship cricket will see a total of 25 first-class games played between now and April 2009. The first four rounds go through to mid-December, with the Championship then taking a break for the State Shield one-day competition and the State Twenty20.
The Championship resumes in March with the final scheduled for 5 – 9 April 2009.
The first round of the State Shield one-day competition will be held on 21 December. Last season saw Otago win their first one-day trophy since 1987/88. The State Shield final is set down for 1 February 2009.
The State Twenty20 competition will be held for the fourth time this season, with the first round on 4 February 2009. The competition expands from six rounds and a final last season, to eight rounds and a final for 2008/09. The State Twenty20 final will be on 1 March. This season SKY will televise a record eight State Twenty20 matches, as well as the State Shield final.
The women’s competition gets under way on 5 December with the first round of State League Twenty20 matches, followed by the State League first round the following day.