22 November 2022

If you love cricket, this week’s new-format Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval is the place to be

| Tim Gavel
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pm's xi vs sri lanka cricket act

The PM’s XI versus Sri Lanka in 2019. This year will herald a new four-day PM’s XI format at Manuka Oval. Photo: Cricket ACT.

Over the years, the PM’s game has been played in a variety of formats aligned with limited overs.

In 2022, for the first time, the PM’s XI has been deemed to be a first-class fixture, played over four days, under lights, and with a pink ball.

It provides a platform for the West Indies to prepare to play Australia in two Tests in Perth and Adelaide. The second Test in Adelaide will be played under lights with a pink ball.

Cricket at Manuka Oval. Photo: File.

The PM’s XI has a long history at Manuka Oval and this year’s game adds to that history. Photo: File.

Named by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, five of the players have Test experience. This includes Victorian Marcus Harris, who was in the Australian 13 for the series against the West Indies. He is looking to make an impact before the first Test.

Harris has impressed in the Sheffield Shield this season following good form playing for Gloucestershire in the English County Competition.

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Harris will take his place in the PM’s XI lineup alongside Michael Neser, who played against England last year as a replacement for Pat Cummins.

Peter Handscomb and Matthew Renshaw will be looking to use the game as a launching pad for possible inclusion in the touring squad for the series against India in February.

Handscomb, who plundered 281 for Victoria against Western Australia in October, last played for Australia in 2019, while Renshaw hasn’t played a Test since March 2018. Renshaw is averaging 80.6 in the shield for Queensland this season.

Prime Minister’s XI Cricket Match, 22 October 1951. PM’s XI Captain Jack Fingleton, Prime Minister Menzies and the West Indian captain, John D. Goddard in 1951. Photo: Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. (Courtesy ACT Heritage Library, Ref. 001390).

The coin toss at the Prime Minister’s XI Cricket Match, 22 October 1951. Pictured are PM’s XI captain Jack Fingleton, Prime Minister Menzies and the West Indian captain, John D Goddard in 1951. Photo: ACT Heritage Library.

Ashton Agar, who played a key role in Australia’s one-day series win against England, is another player looking to use the PM’s game to enhance his chances of a recall.

The PM’s XI will be captained by Western Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis, who was forced out of the Australian T20 World Cup squad after a golfing mishap.

Former ACT cricketer Henry Hunt returns to play at Manuka following a series of impressive performances for South Australia.

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Last week he hit his maiden first-class century against Western Australia with 103 off 137 balls at the WACA.

There will be additional local content with the 12th and 13th players drawn from the ACT competition.

Former Canberra batter Jono Dean, who played for the PM’s XI against the West Indies in 2013, hitting 51 off just 38 deliveries, will take on the assistant coaching duties with the PM’s side.

Australian assistant coach Andre Borovec will assume the head coach role with the PM’s side.

There is plenty of intrigue around the West Indies lineup ahead of the first Test against Australia in Perth.

The stakes are high on a number of fronts, with Australian players seeking to impress against the full-strength Windies team. The Windies on the other hand will be using the game as a launching pad into the Test series.

The PM’s XI match starts at Manuka Oval at 2 pm on Wednesday, 23 November. Tickets are available here.

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