Local talent helps Tassie in Sheffield Shield

Coached by perhaps Broken Hill’s greatest cricketing export Jeff Vaughan, the Tasmanian Tigers are still at the top of the ladder after the first eight rounds of the Sheffield Shield, and with the final two minor round games being at home, their chances of playing in the final are high.

To this point of the season Vaughan has engineered his squad to four victories, three draws and a single loss.

With batting and bowling bonus points they have compiled 38.96 points, ahead of their round nine opponents, Victoria on 36.94.

In third position was round eight foe, Western Australia, who are 32.49 points, with NSW in fourth place on 30.82.

Both Queensland and the bottom placed South Australians, who the Tassie boys play in the last game of the regular season on home soil at Blunstone Arena, are out of calculations.

“There is still a long way to go,” the pragmatic Vaughan, now in his second year in charge of the Tasmania Tigers outfit said.

“There are still plenty of things that can happen from here. It is helpful that both of our final two games are at home, but we must win at least one I reckon.

“There are no guarantees at this point, but we’ve given ourselves a chance. We have cobbled together a good squad and we have a number of players with both bat and ball in form.

A former first-class cricketer himself, Vaughan played 28 four-day first-class games for the Redbacks and a further 24 one-dayers. His coaching career started with the SA Outbacks at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in 2007.

He has had two stints as the caretaker coach at the SA Redbacks, when the incumbents were sacked, and nearly a decade as an assistant.

After playing a key role in the Barrier’s 1990 SACA Country Cricket Championships Harry Meyer Cup win as a 16-year-old, Vaughan was the Inaugural Favell Foundation Scholarship recipient.

His son Tom Vaughan is now playing first grade for Clarence in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League competition.

Tasmania first joined the Sheffield Shield competition in the 1977-78 season, and have enjoyed just three wins in their nearly half century in the Shield comp.

Since 1982-83, the top two teams after the home and away rounds have met in a final, played over five days at the home ground of the top-ranked team. Between 1982–83 and 2017–18, in the event of a draw or tie, the Shield was awarded to the top-ranked team.

Since the 2018–19 summer, in the event of a draw or tie, the team which scores more first innings bonus points, based on the system used in regular season matches, wins the Shield.

The Tigers won their inaugural title in the summer of 2006-07 and then two titles in three seasons, winning in the 2010-11 and 2012-13 campaigns.

The previous time they were in a final was 2017-18 when they lost to Queensland.

If the Tasmania side finish top, they will host the final in Hobart, which is scheduled from March 21 to 24.


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