FOR the first time since its establishment in 2007, the Sydney Cricket Ground XI will take a game to the country.
The SCG XI is the social playing arm of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, and is based on the models of the Marylebone and Melbourne Cricket Clubs.
It allows members to play in social matches, join domestic and international cricket tours, and attend exclusive events.
Normally, games are played at the SCG. Tomorrow however, the SCG XI will grace the hallowed turf of Wade Park in a social game against the Canobolas Cockatoos, an invitational side put together by Kinross coach Andrew Litchfield several years ago.
“It’s just a side mainly for guys who weren’t playing cricket anymore to have a run again,” Litchfield said.
“We have no membership as such, which makes us a bit different from other teams like us. We play a couple of social games each year, and the SCG XI contacted me and put forward the idea of having a run on the long weekend.”
Litchfield said the yellow caps, which when set against traditional cricket whites resemble the famous sulphur-crested cockatoo synonymous with the local bush, provided local cricketers with a chance to keep in touch with their playing days.
“It give those semi-retired guys a chance to keep playing cricket, in a fun environment,” he said.
“Guys like Dave Pratten and Phil Dodds are having a run. We managed to scrape together a mixed bag really, young and old. The Donato boys (James and Dan) are having a run too, and Charles (Litchfield) and I will have a hit together.”
Paula Booth, the SCG XI operations manager, said her team’s migration over the mountains was long overdue.
“We have members from all over the country,” she said.
“It is a great chance for these guys to experience new places, and of course Orange has such a vibrant food and wine culture.”
Despite the 40-over game being based around fun, Booth said it would be played for a least one, very special award.
“The spirit of cricket runs high through our games and at the conclusion of each match we ask the umpire to nominate the player who best reflected that spirit,” Booth said.
“That person is awarded the Lisa Polonis Spirit of Cricket Award. Lisa was a cricket tragic... and she was particularly adamant about the spirit in which it should be played. Sadly she lost her battle with breast cancer far too young, but her trophy goes everywhere and is presented at every game we play.”
The SCG XI take on the Canobolas Cockatoos from 11am, at Wade Park.
n SCG XI: Bruce Hockings (Gunnedah), Hamish Hockings (Gunnedah), Mark DeBrincat (Orange), Mick Bradley (Sydney), Will Bradley (Sydney), John Dunk (Young), James Dunk (Cootamundra), Tim Boyd (Young), Dave Hyman (Gunnedah), Jacob Boyle (Canberra), Mark Frecklington (Orange). CANOBOLAS COCKATOOS: Dave Pratten, Trent Frazer, James Donato, Daniel Donato, Johnathon Quigley, Drew Hal, Phil Dodds, Max Dodds, Jack Dodds, Stu Crisp, Charlie Litchfield, Andy Litchfield.