Rose adds to local flavour
By STEVE SPINKS
LISMORE has plenty of links to the NSW Country team that will contest the Australian Country Cricket Championship starting today in Lismore.
The obvious two are fast bowler Ian Gregory and outstanding young batsman Tom Cooper, both of whom play for Eastern Districts in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League.
But there is another local in the squad.
The coach is none other than long-time Southern Districts player and former Hooker League umpire Graham Rose.
Rose, pictured, is now based at Tamworth as the Central North cricket development officer.
However, he can be found most weekends on his McLeans Ridges property with his wife Wendy.
Rose played with Souths all his life, but retired after the first season of the Hooker League in 1994-95.
"I was a bit long in the tooth," he joked.
Originally a teacher, Rose said he has enjoyed the work of being a full-time cricket coach.
The name Rose is synonymous with Far North Coast cricket.
Graham has six brothers and a sister and most have been involved in the sport.
His father Snow was a legendary Souths player.
This is the second time Rose has coached the NSW Country team.
Last season he took the team to Mt Gambier with another Lismore connection, former Sheffield Shield spinner John McMahon, who was manager.
McMahon is the tournament convenor in Lismore.
Rose's Bush Blues will begin the carnival against defending champions Vic- toria at Oakes Oval, Lismore.
NSW Country have not won the title since the 2000-2001 season.
In other matches today, Queensland take on South Australia at Heaps Oval, Lismore, while East Asia Pacific play Western Australia at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino.
All fixtures are two-day games with 100 overs per innings.
Play starts at 10.30am.