The Newcastle Blasters are set to face off against former first-class all-rounder Simon Keen in the opening round of this weekend’s Regional Bash tournament in Maitland.
The Blasters tackle Central Coast Rush at Lorn Park on Saturday with Keen, playing grade cricket for Warnervale after three summers for Blacktown in the state capital, now the key opponent.
Keen, 30, has represented Australia under 19s, NSW one-day and T20 sides as well as the Sydney Sixers.
“He is a quality cricketer,” Newcastle captain Nathan Price said.
Price meets Wallsend clubmate Jake Montgomery on Sunday afternoon in the third and final fixture against the Hunter Hitmen at Robins Oval. The Blasters also have the Illawarra Flames at Robins on Sunday morning.
The overall winner progresses to semi-finals at the SCG on December 10.
Elsewhere, former New Zealand opening bowler Daryl Tuffey and Adelaide Strikers batsman Jono Dean will next month play with the Border Bullets and ACT Aces respectively.