THE FASTEST-growing form of cricket in the world is making its way to the Riverland this Sunday, with Waikerie set to host the penultimate round of the SA Veterans Cricket Association Over 50s competition.
The nine-team competition is well and truly on the rise and Veterans Cricket Australia board member Anthony Telfer is pushing for a Riverland team.
“In the Hills team, there’s guys from Mildura that come across to play,” he said.
“We’re trying to promote it in the Riverland and get some interest going so they potentially put their own team in, possibly combined with Mildura.
“We’ve got nine teams now but next year we’ll go to 12 teams and there’s already a team in the Barossa that’s going to join.
“It’s expanding quickly and if
you went back three years ago, there was only six teams.”
Many of the competition’s play- ers double up every second week- end, continuing to turn out for their respective club cricket sides on Saturday and then playing veterans on Sunday.
The appeal of veterans’ crick- et, though, goes beyond the battle between bat and ball.
“Once people get involved with 50s cricket they realise how good it is,” Mr Telfer said.
“It’s more than just the crick- et, it’s the mateship and the social side, but we do have the Australian nationals in Adelaide in November and that’s the carrot I think.
“All games are being played on turf and one of the games will be played on the Adelaide Oval.”
The games are 40 overs apiece with batsmen made to retire when they pass 40 runs, though they can
return to the crease for another hit when the rest of their teammates have been dismissed.
With only two hundreds made in the past two years, the opportu- nity is there for new competitors to make their mark and Mr Telfer has put the call out to Riverland cricketers.
“If there’s anyone out there that thinks they’re half decent, the car- rot is that they could get selected to play in division one for South Australia,” he said.
“From there, you can potential- ly get a game at Adelaide Oval, but more importantly if they think they’re any good they might get selected for Australia.
“Then you get a baggie green and you get to travel the world rep- resenting Australia, who happen to be the current world champions.”
The age limit means that there are no youngsters patrolling the
Reigning premiers of the over 50s cricket competition, Hills Fleurieu Gold, will be in action in Waikerie this Sunday against Hills Fleurieu Green. PHOTO: supplied
boundary, cutting off fours and sixes, which Mr Telfer believes is one of the biggest drawcards.
“It’s all about participation – that’s the bottom line – but it’s still very competitive, don’t get me wrong,” he said.
“The best way to describe vet-
erans’ cricket is we can all still bat and we can all still bowl but we can’t run.
“We’re all at the same standard when it comes to fielding so you’re not competing against an 18-year- old, you’re competing against guys over 50.”
Journalist Murray Pioneer.