Tassie boys prepare for first-ever, historic day/night under-19 national championship game

LIGHT IT UP: Tasmanian under-19 talent Jarrod Freeman and his captain Dylan Hay prepare for Friday's day/night clash at UTAS Stadium. Picture: Hamish Geale
LIGHT IT UP: Tasmanian under-19 talent Jarrod Freeman and his captain Dylan Hay prepare for Friday's day/night clash at UTAS Stadium. Picture: Hamish Geale

The occasion is not at all lost on the faces of Tasmanian future cricket.

Even for the mentor to the state’s under-19 cricketers, Shannon Tubb cannot give too many tips on how best to play under the shining lights.

The retired Tasmanian left-arm wrist spinner’s number of appearances among white balls, dew on the field and eyeing high catches in the night skies were limited at the turn of the century.

Tubb played just one day/nighter at the WACA among his 13 domestic games for the Tigers.

“It was a little bit different 15 years ago when we played at the major venues throughout the country in day/night fixtures,” he said.

“Things have probably changed a little bit in first-class cricket in that respect.

WELL DONE: South Launceston left-arm seamer James Beattie is congratulated by Tasmanian teammates after picking up a NSW Metro wicket.

WELL DONE: South Launceston left-arm seamer James Beattie is congratulated by Tasmanian teammates after picking up a NSW Metro wicket.

“But I was very fortunate to be play in one of those games under lights for Tassie.”

Tasmania’s young crop – some that are now 20 years younger than Tubb – will be a part of unique history come Friday night.

Never has an under-19 national championship match been played under lights.

The Tasmanians were told weeks before the groundbreaking night of the first when Cricket Australia had announced the tournament would be staged in Tasmania.

“We are really just fortunate in Tasmania that we’re the host team when they decided this, which we’ve now got that opportunity to play that game,” Tubb said.

Tubb, who had rocketed onto the first-grade scene for Westbury at only 14 before debuting for his state at just 19, said the game against Victoria Metro will now hold extra importance.

“With the added excitement of playing a day/night game as an under-19 player, they’re all just over the moon. They really can’t wait to get out there,” he said.

SALUTE: Jarrod Freeman raises his bat to teammates after his half-century against NSW Metro.

SALUTE: Jarrod Freeman raises his bat to teammates after his half-century against NSW Metro.

“As you can imagine for a 17 or 18-year-old to get an opportunity to play a day/nighter, where you grow up watching your peers and that the Australian cricket team play, is really so exciting.

“So the players are just jumping out of their skin.”

Tubb added the occasion of also running onto UTAS Stadium – a venue he never once played on – adds another dimension to the clash.

“One of the great things about hosting here and being in Hobart is we have access to the best facilities in the state,” Tubb said.

“In Launceston to have access to UTAS Stadium, which I think is an amazing venue and in Hobart, to Blundstone Arena for finals as well, we are just very fortunate.”

Tasmania meets South Australia first on Thursday at the NTCA No.2 Ground.