Last week saw 16 teams from all corners of NSW rock up to Orange for the Western NSW Under 13 Cricket Carnival.
With 12 or more players each; plus coaches, team managers, parents, friends and family, the under 13 carnival brought nearly 500 people to Orange, according to Orange and District Cricket Association (ODCA) junior president David Cumming.
And all 500 of those – plus some inquisitive locals – all turned out on Wednesday night at the exhibition T20 match at Wade Park, where players from each of the 16 teams were randomly placed into two sides.
Talking with the visitors, everyone had nothing but praise for Orange.
South Coast coach Bill Harrison has been coming to the carnival for seven years – three years with the team that won the event on Thursday – and said he absolutely loved the town, and had already booked rooms for next year.
He was one of many the Central Western Daily spoke to who were repeat visitors, in awe of not just the cricket grounds and the town but the organisation that goes into the carnival.
Coach of one of the T20 sides, Jack Daintith said he thought the carnival was doing wonders for Orange.
“It’s great to see so many people from all over NSW coming down and seeing what Orange has to offer on and off the field,” he said.
It’s great to see so many people from all over NSW coming down and seeing what Orange has to offer.Jack Daintith
But the influx of cricket-mad fans isn’t over yet, with the under 15 carnival runing from Monday to Thursday with 12 boys’ teams and six girls’ sides.
But while the under 15 iteration is set to have more players, Mr Cumming said less supporting parents and friends would make the trek, with many going back to work.
ODCA junior secretary Jo Hunter – who was in charge this week with Mr Cumming in Armidale with his son for the Kookaburra Cup – and her committee managed to see results in all games, especially as rain plagued the carnival on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We were delighted as to how it turned out, all cricket games got played, most of the matches were all on turf … and the final was a cracking match,” she said.
“We’d also like to thank Orange City Council and all the groundskeepers, we couldn’t have done it without them.”