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Selector Mark Greatbatch Back As A Player

Monday 14 February 2011, 11:28AM

By Margot Butcher

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BLACKCAPS selector Mark Greatbatch is set to make a return to the game as a player in the Titans International Twenty20 match in Hamilton, it was announced today.

Greatbatch, who played 41 test matches and 84 one-day internationals for New Zealand as an aggressive top order batsman and outstanding fieldsman, has confirmed he'll put his reputation on the line one more time against old foes Australia as part of the Samsung NZCPA's Masters team taking on the ACA Masters in the high-profile Trans-Tasman Twenty20 clash at Hamilton's Seddon Park on February 24.

And just to add some extra spice to the comeback, the match will pit Greatbatch against none other than his number one old nemesis Craig McDermott - the opening fast bowler who dismissed him in seven of his 15 test innings against Australia, often cheaply and twice for a duck.

"Craig McDermott was obviously an extremely competitive type of player, as all Australians are," said Greatbatch today. "They have a good team and it will be that old competitive banter again in Hamilton I'm sure, but there will also be a lighter side to it this time which will be nice. We have a few events like a dinner, a golf day and casino evening lined up beforehand and we're raising funds for charity, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again, catching up and having some fun before we do battle again."

Having been racing round the country all summer watching domestic cricket as part of his World Cup selectorial duties, Greatbatch chuckled when asked if he'd had the chance to play much cricket lately.

"I did get asked to play club cricket in Hawke's Bay on Saturday, and would have liked to have played, but declined in the end so that I could watch my 10-year-old lad play his game. I did get a chance to have a practice though and I will definitely by looking to have a few hits before we take on the Aussies in Hamilton - I think that would be wise!"

Officially the Titans International Twenty20 will be the first time the BLACKCAPS selector has played the modern Twenty20 game, "but in the old days in England we used to play a lot of evening League cricket. On a Tuesday evening you'd play 26 overs starting at 6pm, or 18 8-ball overs. That was back in the 1980s so although Twenty20 has eventuated since my time as a batsman, it's not that foreign."

Tickets to the Titans International Twenty20 between the Samsung NZCPA Masters and the ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association) Masters, at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 24, 6.30pm are available at Ticketek or at the gate on the night.


Samsung NZCPA Masters

Stephen Fleming (captain)    111 tests, 280 ODIs, 5 T20is
Nathan Astle                          81 tests, 224 ODIs, 4 T20is
Mark Greatbatch                    41 tests, 84 ODIs
Richard Jones                        1 test, 5 ODIs
Craig McMillan                       55 tests, 197 ODIs, 8 T20is
Dion Nash                              32 tests, 81 ODIs
Adam Parore                          78 tests, 179 ODIs
Murphy Su'a                           13 tests, 12 ODIs
Shane Thomson                     19 tests, 56 ODIs
Paul Wiseman                        25 tests, 15 ODIs
Bryan Young                           35 tests, 74 ODIs

ACA Masters

Andy Bichel                             19 tests, 67 ODIs
Ryan Campbell                        2 ODIs
Brad Hogg                               7 tests, 123 ODIs, 2 T20s
Matthew Elliott                         21 tests, 1 ODI
Murray Goodwin                     19 tests, 71 ODIs (Zimbabwe, since based in Australia)
Craig McDermott                    71 tests, 138 ODIs
Jimmy Maher                          26 ODIs
Greg Matthews                       33 tests, 59 ODIs
Greg Ritchie                           30 tests, 44 ODIs
Mike Veletta                            8 tests, 20 ODIs
Lee Carseldine (TBC)            Queensland, Rajasthan Royals IPL player


Find all the match details and info at  www.titanstwenty20.com