The Big Picture:
Ahhhhh…the tour match…the annual chance to spread the gospel of inclusive and fun cricket, needed so badly now in these grim days of sandpaper and ‘good blokes’.
Indeed the current climate very much reminds me of a story told by Martin Flanagan, Australian writer, about a conversation he had with the Chaplain of the Western Bulldogs;
Flanagan: “There’s no limit of goodness in the world”
Chaplain: “I agree, it’s just not organised, and the other side is”.
With this in mind, The Quokkas are preparing to take on a team from Flanagans home state; Tasmania. The team itself being the Bruny Island Penguins, a club that has one of the most idyllic places to call home that I have been lucky enough to grace on a cricket tour, or any tour to be accurate.
For those unfamiliar with Bruny Island, Google it. For those with no patience for engines that search, observe the view from my balcony minutes ago:
But back to the game. This match provides us with an opportunity to make new friends and rekindle old ones, as well as enjoy the bounty that this beautiful island that lies off another beautiful island, that lies off our own island, has to offer.
As an aside, I have been somewhat astounded at the number of times that:
- Ive been asked if Im from “The Mainland” (I am); or
- Called “Cobber”
For context around the match, the genesis of this game springs from Local, who hails from the island amongst other places including; Ballarat, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Perth and the Carringbush. Christmas must involve a killer commute for him.
Many thanks to him though, Captain for this game, for helping bring us to this wondrous spot and arguably the southern-most point that a Quokka match will ever be held.
Many thanks to the Penguins for making it happen too!
With only one game in the locker for the season, The Quokkas are looking pretty good.
In that outing we managed 215 runs from 25 overs, which we were able to defend, bowling the other side out for 190-odd.
That being said, the 14 players available for our last match against The Curtin are not as available here, so form may be extremely un-useful (a-useful? Dis-useful?).
Also working against us are the inclusion of ‘real’ cricket rules including; LBW, wides, no balls and the like.
Its just not cricket, or maybe it is.
In the Spotlight:
“More Steve”, the Tasmanian Tour specialist comes back into the Quokkas squad for his first game since Jays hedonistic intra-club match at the end of last season, or last recorded match since our tour of Launceston many moons ago.
I’m not suggesting that he is the most naturally talented cricketer in his family (there are plenty of others to do that), but he is able to bowl medium pace off the mark with alarming accuracy, as well as play proper cricket shots.
More Steve. Forever.
Its been a tough gig getting a touring team together for this match, as it seems to be with every tour match, and we go into this one with only 9 available ahead of the game (unless Liam turns up on Saturday morning).
Thankfully the Penguins have volunteered to provide us with a couple of players and Maxy and Sime are on standby, so we should be OK.
The team, at the time of writing, is:
- Big Dog
- Local (c)
- Will (Captain of the Royal Oak in Launceston)
- More Steve
- Wills mate
Pitch and Conditions:
After an earlier inspection of the ground, I can confirm it is the MCG realm in regards to size, if not catering. The boundaries are simply exhausting to comprehend, let alone traverse. Further, the pitch has both ‘stickiness’ and bounce.
Thankfully, the Quokkas have the ultimate weapon for such conditions; The Big Dog.
If only we had the fielders to support him.
Saturday is expected to be a sunny day, top of 20, with a very cool breeze sweeping across the ground from the arctic.
Stats and Trivia:
- With his wicket from the last match, Pup moved to 5th in the all time wickets, taking them at a healthy 5 per over and an average of 14.91
- Local has looked the good in the nets thus far, and has a good record while captaining, he has also scored 373 YPCA runs at 17.76 with 38 fours and 12 sixes – an impressive 60% of his runs coming from boundaries
- This is the Quokkas second tour match to Tasmania. The first, like the tale of the giant Rat of Sumatra, is another story