Oates hopes to teach his rivals a cricket lesson
By MITCHELL DALE
NEW Diggers-Ex Services wicket keeper-batsman Roger Oates, principal of Bishop Druitt College, will be hoping to give a few cricketing lessons to opposition CHDCA teams this summer.
Oates arrived in town for the new school year in January and made an immediate impression for Diggers during the back end of the second grade season.
At the start of the 2004-5 summer, he was happy to get the call up to first grade.
"I have only had the one game in first grade, but the standard seems pretty good," Oates said.
"I have played a fair bit of A grade cricket and this (competition) compares well.
"There are a lot of good cricketers running around here."
Unfortunately for Oates, he and his team mates got an up-close example of the CHDCA talent in round one when the side was thumped by premiers Nana Glen.
"It wasn't a great start, we probably lacked a bit of depth in our bowling and they got too many runs," he said.
But Oates, a veteran of over 30 seasons, knows the competition is not won in the first round and remains confident Diggers will still be alive when the whips are cracking next March.
"We have enough talent to be competitive this season," he said.
"We may not beat the Nana Glen's of the world, but a top four spot is a strong possibility.
"Once you get to the final, all bets are off."
Oates is also relishing the chance to bat in the top order, as opposed to the wicket keeper's normal spot at the mid-lower end.
"Normally I don't bat as high as No.4, but I am enjoying the chance to bat up the order," he said.