HAWTHORN-Monash University will again be after steady improvement this Premier Cricket season.
The Hawks made slow but notable progress last season going with a much younger first 11. Teenagers like Liam Tonkin and emerging players like Grant Westgarth, Jake Marnie and Daniel Rogers were given time at the top level.
Hawks coach Keith Jansz will again look to field a young team although with a hard off-season behind them the Hawks could well be ready for their best season in several years.
The Hawks will also get the services of Sri Lankan star fast bowler Lasith Malinga for a Twenty20 match against Footscray-Edgewater on December 2 at Monash University.
But that big occasion aside, the Hawks need to show the fruits of their hard labour this season with at least a couple of wins and, especially in two-day matches, longer batting innings and better bowling pressure.
Opening batsman Kumar Sarna will be asked to put together more prolonged innings while veteran English cricketer David Alleyne remains the captain and will look to spend more time at the crease.
Regular first team batsman Dean Gunawardane has left the Hawks to join his brother at Dandenong District Cricket Association club North Dandenong.
The Hawks open their season against Frankston Peninsula at AH Butler Oval this Saturday at 10am.
HAWTHORN-MONASH UNIVERSITY PREMIER CRICKET FIXTURE 2012-2013
October 6 Frankston Peninsula v Hawthorn-Mon Uni, AH Butler Oval 10am
October 13 Hawthorn-Mon Uni v North Melbourne, Monash University 1 11am
October 20 Carlton v Hawthorn-Mon Uni, Princes Park 1 Oval, 11am
October 21 Hawthorn-Mon Uni v Melbourne, Monash University 1 11am
October 27, November 3 Hawthorn-Mon Uni v Northcote, Monash University 1 noon
November 10, November 17 Melbourne Uni v Hawthorn-Mon Uni, University Main Oval noon
November 24 (T20) Camberwell Magpies v Hawthorn-Mon Uni, Wangaratta Showgrounds 2pm
December 1 (T20) Dandenong v Hawthorn-Mon Uni, Shepley Oval 2.