The ACA Masters tour of Armidale and Inverell saw 14 current and past Australian international and domestic players square-off against local representative teams and taking part in various coaching and community visits.
Newly appointed ACA CEO Todd Greenberg invited interim Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley to join in for the for the first leg of the tour, marking the first time a Cricket Australia CEO had attended an ACA Masters event.
The ACA developed the Masters program in 2008 with a focus on the promotion of cricket. The program involves current and past players to encourage and grow the game in regional areas, as well as raise funds for local cricket associations and identify local talent.
ACA Masters Team: Sarah Andrews, Mark Cosgrove, Scott Coyte, Rhiannon Dick, Michelle Goszko, Wayne Holdsworth, Mel Jones, Jason Krejza, Josh Lalor, Greg Matthews, Jonathan Moss, Stephen O’Keefe, Julia Price, Daniel Smith.
up to $500 in equipment. The scholarship winners were also paired with an ACA Masters mentor to assist with their development.
Youth scholarship recipients and their mentors: Armidale: Vanessa Simpson (Sarah Andrew), Sam Johnson (Mark Cosgrove). Inverell: Ryan Campbell (Jason Krejza), Georgia Leonard (Michelle Goszko).
On Saturday, the Masters claimed an overwhelming Victory at Armidale Sports Ground thanks to some huge hitting from Mark Cosgrove and Dan Smith, who provided plenty of catching opportunities for those in the crowd. However, bad weather forced both teams inside at Inverell where the Masters we’re outmatched by an experienced Inverell indoor cricket XI.
Former Australian cricketer and current commentator Mel Jones was full of praise following her first Masters trip and thanked the New England locals for their hospitality.
“What I’ve enjoyed is the feedback from the people out in the regions because every single person who sees you post an event or clinic comes up to you and says you don’t understand how important this is and how much this means to people to have the Masters coming out to country regions,” she said.
“Everyone to a person has been so thankful. From our point of view, it’s us being thankful to them for giving all their hospitality, we arrived with welcome arms, it’s been absolutely brilliant.”
ACA CEO Todd Greenberg spoke about the importance of giving back to the community in regional parts of Australia.
“A big thank you to both the Armidale and Inverell communities for hosting us over the past week. It was quite refreshing to be in regional New South Wales with lots of past and present players who are giving back to the community.
“From the school and the community visits, to the games, it’s a all about giving back for us. It’s been a lot of fun, with a lot of laughs, but most importantly we’ve seen a lot of boys and girls coming out to meet their heroes.”
Australian Cricket Hall of Fame inductees, Merv Hughes and Cathryn Fitzpatrick, are the marquee names for the upcoming Australian Cricketers’ Association’s (ACA) Masters tour of East Gippsland in Victoria on Friday 26 – Sunday 28 March
Up next, the Masters, headlined by Australian greats Merv Hughes and Cathryn Fitzpatrick, will visit East Gippsland in Victoria on March 26-28.
The East Gippsland region was chosen more specifically to assist the rebuilding of a community heavily impacted by bushfires last summer.
The tour will feature cricket clinics in Wy Yung, Paynesville and Lakes Entrance on Friday evening and Saturday morning, a T20 match against a local representative XI at Orbost Cricket & Recreation Reserve on Saturday afternoon and a Sporties Function Night at The Orbost Club on Saturday night.
Six players who have represented Australia will joined Hughes and Fitzpatrick in the Masters XI. Greg Matthews, who played 33 Test matches and 59 ODIs in the 1980s and 90s will be alongside Lauren Ebsary, Mark Cosgrove, Jason Krejza, Brett Geeves and Stephanie Theodore.
Rob Bartlett, Kathleen Hempenstall, Jayde Herrick and Rhiann O’Donnell, who have all played at the highest level domestically, help to form a formidable side.