Cricket in the Illawarra will enter a new era on Saturday when the Greater Illawarra Zone plays its first representative fixture.
Born out of the merger of the Illawarra, South Coast, Shoalhaven and Highlands associations, it is hoped the new venture will challenge the bigger country zones at Country Championships.
The move comes after a number of years of disappointing Country Championships performances by the Illawarra squad, with last year’s team finishing the competition without a win.
This 50-over clash will see the Invitational XI take on Sutherland at Hayden Drexel Oval in Nowra.
The Illawarra will be represented by University skipper Mitch Calder and Pushpinder Singh.
The South Coast is also well-represented, with Brynley Richards, Gerringong’s Manning Berry and Shellharbour’s Mitch Waterson taking part.
Illawarra and South Coast will remain as separate entities for the Regional Bash.