In a coup for the sport of bowls in Australia, this November’s $100,000 Bowls Premier League competition will see the return of the man widely regarded as the world’s best bowler.
Scottish Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion Alex Marshall MBE will return to Brisbane’s Club Pine Rivers for the sport’s made-for-television event, following a three-year hiatus from the competition.
Marshall helped guide the expansion team Moama Bowls Club Murray Steamers to a maiden title in their first appearance at the event back in 2014 during BPL02, and was declared the event’s Most Valuable Player by a landslide margin, but will take to the green in different colours this November.
The Moreton Bay Brisbane Pirates have secured the services of the international spearhead in a what will be a completely new-look team, following a seventh-place finish in at the most recent BPL in February.
Joining Marshall in the Pirates’ camp is Australian international stalwart Kelsey Cottrell, who cut her teeth in the BPL format last February as a late call-up for the Club Helensvale Gold Coast Hawks, and local favourite and former Australian Open pairs champion Robbie Wild, who help guide the then-called Brisbane Gold to the inaugural title back in 2013.
Former New Zealand National Coach, and the NZ Blackjacks Coach in four BPL events, Dave Edwards will again take the reins as the Pirates’ Coach after stepping into the role in February.
Brisbane Pirates Coach Dave Edwards said excitement had reached boiling point ahead of November’s event.
“As the next instalment of the BPL looms, everyone at the club is starting to really buzz with the expectation of another blockbuster event right here at our own club,” Edwards said.
“The excitement levels have really risen another level with the naming of the Pirates team for this year’s event.
“What better name to have in the team than Alex Marshall. The locals were gobsmacked when they heard the news, which is obviously fantastic for the locals but also for the event itself.
“Excitement piqued when they heard that we had also snared Kelsey Cottrell, and supporters were super happy that the pirates would have a local in the team, with Robbie Wild, who was an inaugural winner of the first BPL.”
In further good news for Queensland region, the host club of every November addition of the BPL ever staged, Club Pine Rivers, has secured the rights to continue hosting for a further two years.
Club Pine Rivers, who have hosted all BPL events staged on Australian soil, are now confirmed as Australia’s host venue until 2020, which will see them host BPL06, BPL08, BPL10 and BPL12.
“Club Pine Rivers have done a magnificent job hosting the Bowls Premier League since 2013 and have become synonymous with the sport’s marquee competition, so it’s pleasing to confirm that the venue will continue to stage the event for a further two years,” Bowls Australia Chief Executive Officer Neil Dalrymple said.
BPL06 will be played from November 14 to 17, at Club Pine Rivers, while BPL07 will again be staged across the ditch in New Zealand in 2018, with the exact dates still to be confirmed.
All the BPL06 broadcast action can be watched on Fox Sports from 6.00pm to 11.00pm AEDT during the four days of competition.