Taranaki Cricket have confirmed Debu Banik and Aimee Watkins will continue as coaches of the men's and women's representative sides for the upcoming season.
Banik, who will be in his fifth year of coaching Taranaki, will be assisted by former long-time representative player and new Central Hinds coach Jamie Watkins, while Doug Proffit has been named as manager. Taranaki are scheduled to play Wanganui, probably in Hawera, in a limited overs one-day match on Sunday, October 8, a day after the premier club competition is due to start. That pre-season match will be the only opportunity Taranaki has to play before they head to Napier for the annual Chapple Cup one-day tournament that is being held between October 12-14.The draw for the Chapple Cup has yet to be completed.
Taranaki will be without Will Young and Tom Bruce for the tournament with the pair in India with the New Zealand A squad for two first class matches and five one-day internationals.Banik said a decision would be made on whether a number of players who have spent the New Zealand winter in the United Kingdom playing club cricket, including captain Mattie Thomas, James McDougall and Liam Muggeridge, would be included in Taranaki's Chapple Cup squad.He confirmed he would likely name a squad of 13 players to travel to Napier.
Banik said the Taranaki winter training squad had enjoyed some decent indoor preparation for the season but they have had a frustrating time in recent weeks trying to get some outdoor work done.Last Wednesday was the first time it had been dry enough to do some fielding work while there appears little or no chance many of the premier clubs will be able to play on grass wickets for some time.
Meanwhile, Aimee Watkins will be back for a second year in charge of the Taranaki women's side with Peter Wisnewski named as manager.