A Prime Minister's XI curtain-raiser looms as the perfect chance for a host of Canberra stars to press their claims for the ACT's looming return to the national stage.
An ACT XI will meet a Newcastle XI prior to the Prime Minister's XI's date with Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval on Thursday.
Every moment looms as an opportunity to impress ACT coach Kyle Piper as he sets his sights on a return to the Australian country championships in January.
The ACT has not fielded a standalone team in the country championships since 2013.
"It'll provide us with the first opportunity to play together as a team against a quality opposition before champs starts," Piper said.
"We've had some success in it before... it's our first year back and we're looking to do quite well, we have strong ambitions.
"You get to play on an international venue and be apart of a day like the PM's XI.
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"Even though it's a curtain raiser, you still go through the same sort of emotions and preparations of such a big game.
"To play on a significant day at a significant venue will be a good opportunities for the boys to learn together and challenge themselves."
ANU captain Dan Leerdam joins his Ginninderra counterpart Rhys Healy in the ACT side to take on Newcastle's best.
But first comes a Cricket ACT Gallop Cup clash between the pair at ANU North Oval on Saturday.
Leerdam will back up to run the drinks for the Prime Minister's XI next week after being named 12th man for the annual fixture.
Mixing with cricket's elite is something he is growing accustomed to having run drinks for the Australian side during a Test match last summer.
"I'm really excited to be involved. I remember going to the PM's XI as a little kid, and always inspiring to be involved in that in some capacity," Leerdam said.
"It's really good for my learning meeting players of that calibre, seeing the way they train and prepare and just following in their footsteps.
"The occasion of playing before the PM's XI will be a really good experience."
CRICKET ACT GALLOP CUP
Saturday: ANU v Ginninderra at ANU North Oval, Western District v Queanbeyan at Jamison Oval, Tuggeranong Valley v Eastlake at Chisholm Oval, Weston Creek Molonglo v North Canberra-Gungahlin at Stirling Oval. All games at 11am.