Former Volts all-rounder Smith to face his old side from today

Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith
Former Otago all-rounder Nathan Smith has been named in the Wellington side for its season-opening Plunket Shield game against the Volts.

The game gets under way at the Basin Reserve this morning.

In April, Smith announced he was transferring to Wellington this season.

The decision caught the Volts camp by surprise and disappointed management, who felt they had not been given the opportunity to talk to Smith before he made his decision.

The 23-year-old was a lock-in in the Otago side and had been making positive strides with both the ball and bat.

However, Smith felt the move north would benefit his game. He cited the opportunity to work with Firebirds bowling coach Iain O’Brien as a major drawcard.

There was also uncertainty in Otago cricket at the time. Head coach Rob Walter had announced he was transferring to Central Districts and Smith said that was ‘‘a bit of a catalyst’’.

Otago has struggled at the Basin Reserve in recent years but posted an 84-run win there last season.

Jacob Duffy was instrumental in the win with an eight-wicket haul in the match, while Dale Phillips made 65 in this first innings and 83 not out in the second dig.

They shape as a couple of key players today.

Jake Gibson is poised to make his debut for Otago. He shifted south from Northern Districts this season and has essentially replaced Smith in the line-up.

Wellington has a very useful side which includes Black Caps Tom Blundell, Rachin Ravindra and Finn Allen.

Allen can consider himself unlucky to have have missed a spot in Black Caps T20 World Cup squad.

  • The McCullum Cup T20 tournament for secondary school teams will be held this weekend.

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