Melbourne Renegades’ quick Josh Lalor and Australian greats Greg Matthews and Julia Price headline a host of former and current day Australian cricketers who will descend on Armidale and Inverell for the Australian Cricketers’ Association’s (ACA) Masters tour.
The ACA – the official representative body of past and present first-class cricketers – developed the Masters program in 2008 with a focus on the promotion of cricket. The program utilises current and past players to promote and grow the game of cricket in regional areas, as well as raising funds for local cricket associations and identify local talent.
The Masters will be in Armidale between February 25 – 27, before departing for Inverell on February 27 for a following two days.
In each location, The Masters will play a T20 match against a local representative side and also partake in school coaching clinics and various community events. Each tour also includes awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a talented young player from each area, which includes the unique opportunity to receive mentoring from one of the Masters players following the tour.
Left-arm quick Josh Lalor is currently contracted to the Melbourne Renegades, playing seven games during BB10. Having made is first-class debut in 2011 for New South Wales, Lalor has represented Australia A and joined the Renegades this season after a long stint with Brisbane Heat. During last weekend’s Australian Cricket Awards, Lalor was awarded the Community Impact Award for his work on Reflect Forward, a joint movement between racism education company One Love Australia and the Australian sports industry.
Greg Matthews is an icon of Australian cricket. His charismatic nature and extravagance on the field elevated him to cult-hero status. ‘Mo,’ as he is more commonly known played 33 Test matches and 59 ODI’s for Australia through the 1980s and 1990s. Matthews holds NSW’s record for most matches and wickets taken and has four Test centuries to his name.
Julia Price is a two-time World Cup champion, winning in both 1997 and 2005. The wicketkeeper-batter played 94 international games for Australia over a ten year period, which also yielded over 100 games for Queensland. In 2019, she became the first female to coach in men’s BBL, as assistant to the Brisbane Heat. She is the current head coach of the USA Women’s Cricket Team.
The trio are the latest additions to the squad after Mark Cosgrove, Jason Krejza and Scott Coyte were announced earlier last week.
Powerful batter Mark Cosgrove played three One Day Internationals for Australia during his 221-game first-class career. The South Australian legend also played for Tasmania and the Sydney Sixers and spent a number of seasons in England’s Country Championship with Leicestershire.
New South Wales off-spinner Jason Krejza played two Test matches, taking a remarkable 12 wickets in what would be his final red ball game for Australia. Krejza also played eight One Day Internationals in Australian colours over a ten-year professional cricket career.
Former New South Wales and Sydney Thunder bowler Scott Coyte will also be joining the tour. Coyte represented Australia at the Under-19 World Cup in 2004 and last played for the Sydney Thunder in 2014.
More information on additional players will be communicated shortly.
Kelly Applebee, ACA General Manager – Member Programs and Relations said the Masters were eager to hit the region and meet the community.
“The ACA is excited to bring its Masters program to Armidale and Inverell give back to a community which was impacted by the bushfires last summer. Our players place an enormous emphasis on helping out the community and we’re looking forward to connecting with local cricket clubs and community members. The tour will also provide a unique opportunity for local families to rub shoulders with some greats of the game.”
The ACA Masters is supported by the Armidale Regional Council and the Inverell Shire Council
‘Sporties’ Function Night with the Masters
Thursday 25 Feb, 6PM - 8PM, Armidale City Bowling Club, Entry: $5PP | U18 free
Golf with the Masters
Friday 26 Feb, 9AM-12PM, 9 Hole Ambrose
T20 Match vs Armidale & District Cricket Association
Friday 26 Feb, Armidale Sportsground, 6PM
Primary School Clinic
Friday 26 Feb. 2PM - 4PM, Armidale Sportsground
Cricket Clinic with the Masters
Saturday 27 Feb, 1PM - 3PM, Valery Oval
T20 Match v Inverell Cricket Association
Sunday 28 Feb, Valery Oval, 1PM
‘Sporties’ Function Night with the Masters
Sunday 28 Feb, 5PM - 7PM, RSM Club, Entry: $5PP or $20 per family