Wright ready to lead Hobart

EXCITEMENT and nerves are dominating the mind of Damien Wright just two days away from his first assignment as a head coach.

The man whose work with both bat and ball helped deliver Tasmania its maiden Sheffield Shield title in 2006-07, will lead the Hobart Hurricanes against the Adelaide Strikers at Bellerive Oval on Sunday.

"As a player I always wanted to challenge myself and this is no different. This is a big responsibility and something that I've really been thrilled to be given by Cricket Tasmania," Wright said.

He based his coaching philosophy around earning the respect of his players, believing if he didn't have that, the entire exercise would be pointless.

"Also, with this form of the game (Twenty20) it's about playing without fear - don't fear any failure and just back your instincts," he said.

"It is pretty fast and furious, so there is a lot of pressure to deal with, but I make sure the boys are pretty clear in their mind about the roles they are going to play and making sure it is over to them to execute that, and they are accountable."

The 38-year-old former New Zealand bowling coach described his squad as "balanced".

As well as proven stars George Bailey, Xavier Doherty, Tim Paine, Doug Bollinger, Travis Birt, Ben Laughlin, Ben Hilfenhaus and Owais Shah, the `Canes have added former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik and Dimitri Mascarenhas, two of the world's best Twenty20 specialists.

Leg-spinner Cam Boyce, pacemen Joe Mennie and Sam Rainbird are other additions, with in-form big hitter Ben Dunk expected to have a strong tournament.

"I was fortunate that I coached against the Hurricanes for the first two years of the Big Bash (while working with the Melbourne Stars), so when I got the job, I thought it was good opportunity to fix the areas that we were trying to expose against them," Wright said.

"So I came with the clear idea that we needed someone in the top six who could bowl some quality overs (Malik) and the squad needed to bat a lot deeper (Mascarenhas, Evan Gulbis and Mennie) and a wrist spinner (Boyce).

"Not everyone will fire on the one day and you just have to hope one of your XI can have a huge impact."

Wright said having Australian T20 captain George Bailey available this weekend would be invaluable.

Hobart's clash with the Strikers starts at 1.45pm on Sunday.

HOBART HURRICANES SQUAD 2013-14: George Bailey (c), Tim Paine (vc), Travis Birt, Aiden Blizzard, Doug Bollinger, Cam Boyce, Xavier Doherty, Ben Dunk, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus*, Ben Laughlin, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Joe Mennie, Tim Paine, Sam Rainbird, Kelvin Smith, Owais Shah, Shoaib Malik, Timm van der Gugten, Jon Wells.

The Big Bash League technical committee yesterday allowed the Hurricanes to replace the injured Hilfenhaus with South Australian batsman Kelvin Smith until Hilfenhaus regains fitness.

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