Written by Mick Sheppard
Twelve months in the planning, the Silverback events are starting to fall into place in the lead up to the O50's National Cricket Championships being held in Adelaide in November 2022.
Sunday 27th February was a day the South Australian Veterans Cricket Association had long waited for. In conjunction with the SACA, the SAVCA held a ceremony to present the Silverbacks state uniforms to the selected players at the MTX Club at the Adelaide Oval, with the celebrity lineup the occasion demanded.
Anthony Telfer from the South Australian Veterans Cricket Association welcomed players and partners to this special event where those selected received their state uniforms. The eager crowd was greeted by Test cricketing greats Wayne "Flipper" Phillips and Peter McIntyre, and they, in turn, presented each player with their state uniform. Flipper gave the enthralled crowd some of his best after-dinner speech repertoires, and as usual, he had the group in fits of laughter.
L-R "Nugget" Rees, Peter McIntyre, Wayne Phillips & Anthony Telfer
The most significant announcement of the day was when Anthony announced to the crowd that the 3rd extraordinary guest Barry "Nugget" Rees, South Australia's most loved cricketing icon, was the official Veterans Patron! The day before Nugget's 78th birthday, he was loudly sung "happy birthday" by the crowd on hand, and to say this was a highlight for many of the people in attendance would be an understatement! He was honored by being presented with a unique personalized state playing top to wear to the games supporting his state.
The little legend - "Nugget" Rees
A framed playing top was presented as a Thank you to the State team's major sponsor, Nathan Baggott, State Operations Manager for SA & NT, to hang in a prominent position at the Blackwoods Office in South Australia.
L-R Craig Van Der Vlag, Nathan Baggott & Peter Agnos - All representing Blackwoods.
The squad then changed into their playing uniforms and were presented in front of the grand old scoreboard for the squad photo with "Nugget" front and center for the occasion.
One of the beauties of veteran's cricket and being selected in the one squad is that players from all participating clubs put their competitive differences aside and joined as one unit pulling in the same direction.
All eyes are now in November, and upon parting ways, each player knew that going into winter meant hard work to keep or gain fitness for an exceptional occasion. The SAVCA would like to thank the SACA for being so supportive of SA Veterans Cricket and fostering the competition to thrive in difficult times.