North Ballarat has locked in Melbourne Renegades batsman Tom Beaton to aid its attack on the Twenty20 Shield.
The Roosters have secured the 25-year-old for their three preliminary matches, with the hope of retaining his services if they reach the finals of the Ballarat Cricket Association competition.
Beaton, a former Australian under-19 captain who has represented Western Australia at first-class level, is booked to make his North Ballarat debut in this Friday’s T20 opener against Brown Hill.
The Roosters and Bulls will launch the new season with a clash under lights at Northern Oval from 7pm.
Beaton has been lured to North Ballarat through a connection with Roosters export Ash McCafferty, who now plays with the top-order batsman at Victorian Premier Cricket club Carlton.
North Ballarat acting firsts captain and committee member Jason Crosbie said Beaton’s recruitment is probably the biggest in his time at the club, which spans more than 20 years.
Crosbie said the Roosters are taking the T20 competition – which offers the winning team an opportunity to progress to regional and statewide tournaments – very seriously.
“Any competition we enter or play now, we are there for the right reasons,” Crosbie said.
“We are in it to win it so if you can get the best players who are going to help you win the competition, you certainly chase them.”
While Beaton is North’s marquee player for season 2016-17, McCafferty will also return to play for his former side under a new rule implemented by the BCA.
The association will allow homegrown talent – provided they have played for their BCA club during the past three seasons – to feature in the T20 competition while not taking up the sole marquee player allocation.
Following Friday night’s game against Brown Hill, Beaton will return for matches against Ballarat-Redan on December 2 and against Mt Clear on December 9. The clashes against the Two Swords and Mounties will also be played under lights at Northern Oval.
Beaton, a right-hand batsman who was part of Australia’s under-19 World Cup triumph in 2010, is on the current Renegades list, with the team to launch its Big Bash League campaign with a fixture against Sydney Thunder on December 22.
He was part of the Perth Scorchers’ squad before joining the Renegades, with his 20 career BBL games netting a total of 283 runs at an average of 25.72.
Last BBL campaign, Beaton batted seven times, with a top score of 41 not out coming in the game against Sydney Sixers.