By Michael R Williams
We are now in the mid-season for cricket in the central west, and the new year bares many promises for fans of the sport, for both Longreach and surrounds.
Longreach Cricket president Michael Lloyd said this year had been a big year for cricket.
“This year we got the new nets, they went in with two separate grants,” he said.
“That was with the Community Benefit Fund and the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund – so big thank you to both those organisations.
“When we got them we had to wait 18 months because of Covid, so we ended up having to put in $15,000 of our own money because the price of steel had gone up.
“But they are a fantastic edition, and I think they will really improve cricket across, not just Longreach, but the whole district.”
Mr Lloyd said cricket has seen record numbers of juniors.
“We’re still one of the biggest junior clubs in central Queensland, if not the biggest – we beat a lot of Rocky clubs,” he said.
“So, really good numbers there – adult numbers have been down a little bit, still pretty good but going well.
“It’s been a good first half of the season.”
Mr Lloyd said the competitive viability of the adult teams has improved this year.
“The Wellshot Hotel team are still doing well,” he said.
“The Birdcage is doing better than it did last year – they’ve taken out the first leg of the Duck Shield against the RSL.
“So done very well there – that’s a bit biased it being my team.”
Going into next year, Mr Lloyd said he and Paul Andrews from the Barcaldine Cricket Club will be looking to organise some inter-town games.
“We’re really excited to be planning some of those games after Christmas,” Mr Lloyd said.
“We’re hoping to have an inter-town comp for next season 2022-23.
“We’ve thrown around some ideas – you’ve got the Goldfield Ashes in Charters Towers, we want the Sheep Station Ashes here in Longreach.”
Next year, the club is also hoping to revamp the pitch at the Showgrounds to improve game quality.
“We’ll dig it up completely, shift it so that the lights aren’t in your eyes, and relay some new clay,” he said.
“That should help Malcolm Sellick with all of his activities.”
Mr Lloyd said there were still opportunities to join in on the Cricket action.
“The great thing about the Cricket season is that it goes for about 20 weeks,” he said.
“Even if you join up in January, you’ll still have about 10 weeks for Cricket juniors.
“So just go on to play cricket online and search Longreach.
“For adults, see either the Birdcage, the RSL, or the Wellshot and they will put you in touch with one of the captains.”
Mr Lloyd said man or woman, the club was happy to have anyone on board.
Along with Queensland Cricket, Mr Lloyd will be looking to do more work with smaller towns across the central west to build Cricket in those communities.
“Places like Windorah and Birdsville – stay tuned,” he said.