Otago Volts all set for big moment
Today is D-day for the Otago Volts.
It is the day that 15 players have been getting excited about as the weeks have passed.
Tonight the Volts will take part in, arguably, southern cricket's biggest-ever moment.
The Volts will meet South African team Cape Cobras in Hyderabad, India, in their opening game of the Indian Champions League twenty20 tournament.
The league features the best 12 domestic teams from throughout the world, and Otago progressed after they won the 2008-09 domestic competition.
For many in the group of 15, this two-week tournament will be the biggest cricket event they will ever play in, with a total prize pool of $9million up for grabs.
Otago enter the tournament rank outsiders, at $18 to win the overall prize, and tonight are at $2.90 to beat Cape Cobras.
Otago coach Mike Hesson is happy to be written off heading into the tournament.
"We know in twenty20 cricket anything is possible. You've just got to front up on the day," Hesson told NZPA. "We're the underdogs of the tournament, which isn't a bad thing. Hopefully, we will be underestimated."
The Cobras opened the tournament with a good win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Bangalore posted an impressive 180 from their 20 overs but that still wasn't enough to contain the South Africans.
A sublime 99 from 52 balls from JP Duminy got the Cobras home with two balls to spare.
Tonight's Otago-Cape Cobras coverage starts at 11.30 and will be screened live on Sky Sport 1.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand domestic schedule was confirmed yesterday.
As expected, Invercargill has been allocated a one-day, four-day and twenty20 fixture for the 2009-10 season.
Alexandra and Oamaru have both been included on the calendar but a lot will depend on whether the grounds are proven to be up to speed in time.