Stars headed for Cricket Festival
THIRTEEN players who have represented Australia in either Test, one-day international or Twenty20 cricket will headline the Lismore Festival of Cricket starting next week.
While the final squads that were confirmed yesterday lack marquee players such as Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Michael Clarke, the teams assembled for the eight-day cricket extravaganza are still very strong.
Unfortunately, Victorian captain Cameron White has withdrawn from the original Bushrangers squad because he is in England in the Australian one-day side, while strike bowler Dirk Nannes has been left out as he will play for the Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League tournament next month.
However, Ashes tourists Simon Katich, Phillip Hughes, Stuart Clark and Andrew McDonald have just returned from England, while Test players Jason Krejza, Doug Bollinger and Bryce McGain have also been named to play at Oakes Oval, Lismore.
Other Aussie representatives include Moises Henriques and high-octane slugger David Warner from NSW and Shane Harwood, Brad Hodge and David Hussey from Victoria.
Tasmanian quick Brett Geeves will also play.
Lismore City Council, which is promoting the event, is happy with the quality of the teams.
“We're very happy with the squads,” events co-ordinator John Bancroft said.
“When the NSW list came through a little while ago that proved what we had been told all along, and that was we would be getting strong teams.
“The teams have also said they'll be available to visit schools in Lismore, Alstonville and Ballina; they will be guests at the Lismore Cup; and David Boon (former Australian cricketer) will be a guest tipster.”
NSW and Victoria are using the Lismore carnival as a warm-up for the Twenty20 Champions League Tournament in India, which is a tournament between the best domestic Twenty20 teams around the world.
It includes the Indian Premier League side captained by Lismore's Adam Gilchrist, the Deccan Chargers.
The eight-day festival starts next Tuesday with a 50-over match between Victoria and NSW, before NSW and Tasmania lock horns over the same format a day later. Both are day-night fixtures.
The first Twenty20 match is between Tasmania and Victoria next Thursday, the day of the Lismore Cup, with a 50-over match between Tasmania and Victoria next Friday through the day.
Next weekend will be the pick of the days for spectators.
On the Saturday, there is a Twenty20 match between NSW and Victoria starting at 5.30pm and on the Sunday there are Twenty20 games between NSW and Tasmania and between NSW and Victoria ending at 7.30pm. The final match will be played on Tuesday, September 29, when NSW and Victoria play for the final time. According to the council, tickets are still available, although grandstand seats are close to selling out. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketdirect.com.au or by phone on 1300 798 550.
NEW SOUTH WALES: Simon Katich (c), Aaron Bird, Doug Bollinger, Mark Cameron, Stuart Clark, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Ben Rohrer, Steve Smith, Daniel Smith, Dominic Thornely, Burt Cockley, Peter Forrest, Stephen O'Keefe, David Warner. Coach: Matthew Mott.
VICTORIA: Aiden Blizzard, Ryan Carters, Michael Hill, Aaron Finch, Steven Gilmour, Shane Harwood, John Hastings, Brad Hodge, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Glen Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Bryce McGain, Clinton McKay, James Pattinson, Rob Quiney, Matthew Wade, Damien Wright. Coach: Greg Shipperd.
TASMANIA: George Bailey, Jonathan Wells, Edward Cowan, Daniel Marsh, Alexander Doolan, Luke Butterworth, Brady Jones, Brett Geeves, Jason Krejza, John Rogers, Timothy McDonald, Adam Maher, Brendan Drew, Jeremy Smith, Timothy Coyle, Allister de Winter, Michael Jamison, Michael Dighton, Travis Birt, Wade Irvine. Coach: Tim Coyle.