Indigenous cricket talent on show
INDIGENOUS cricket talent will be on show when the Ballina Bears host matches at Ballina’s Fripp Oval on Australia Day.
Ballina Bears Cricket Club president Phil Melville said two indigenous games will be played — one women’s and one men’s game — on Sunday between a Ballina Bears Invitational X1 and a Maclean District Invitational X1.
“The female match will begin at 10am and it will be a 10-over format and the male match will be what is nowadays a more traditional Twenty20, beginning at noon,” he said.
“We are very honoured to host these matches and it will be very exciting to unleash the wealth of talent that will be on show,” he said.
“Inter-district indigenous cricket used to be very popular and successful many years ago not only in this area but throughout NSW.
“We are very happy to assist in any way to promote this competition again.”
Melville said January 26 is an important date and it’s an honour for the club to host such significant games.
“Australia Day is such a special and significant day for all of us,” he said.
“If our club can promote indigenous cricket and instigate positive competition for the future on this day, then we will be happy to do so.”
More than 14 years ago, the Ballina Bears hosted and co-ordinated the Far North Coast Cricket Camp as part of the Bundjalung Cricket Festival and had and an indigenous Under-13 team play in the January junior cricket carnival.
“Now the Ballina Bears are hoping to reinvigorate this,” Melville said.
“There are already preliminary discussions to co-ordinate inter-Aboriginal Land Council matches throughout the Northern Rivers.”
‘This would be fantastic for Ballina Junior Cricket and Far North Coast Junior Cricket and it’s certainly something to aspire to.
“You never know, this may be the start of local talent becoming representatives in the Imparja Cup or the National Indigenous Cricket Titles, male or female,” he said.
Canteen and refreshments are available at the Australia Day games in Ballina, and all are welcome.
“We are looking forward to a great day,” Melville said.