Territory trip

THERE’S not much cricket on in Gippsland during July, but an opportunity has popped up for a representative team to play in Darwin.

A group of Sale-Maffra Cricket Association juniors will join players from other local leagues to play for Gippsland in the Darwin District Cricket Competition’s mid-year carnival.

Getting a team of teenagers, a coach, and some parents up to the Northern Territory for a week won’t be easy, and they’ve hit the ground running trying to raise money.

This will be the first time a mixed team has been entered, and the first time a team of Gippsland will play, which makes it quite an interesting prospect, according to coordinator Rob Wood.

“A friend of mine’s up there living permanently and he called me and asked if I could bring some teams,” he said.

“The aim of this is gender equality, and getting the boys to appreciate what girls can bring to a team.”

The tricky part is getting the money together to get them to the carnival, which will feature at least four 50 over games and two twenty20 matches against teams from across Australia, including academy teams and private schools.

“The airfare alone’s $860, that’s cruel,” Wood said.

Helping the cause are the parents and the players themselves, who have been organising raffles and barbecues across the district.

Kingsley Bauer, whose son Aussie will play, said they had a couple of bonuses, like Krispy Kreme doughnut packages.

“We went around some footy clubs to sell tickets, because we’ve got fairly good coverage of all the local competitions, and we’ve approached the council and other organisations for grants,” he said.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for the kids, it’s a very diverse culture, and it’ll be a very different experience from a cricket point of view, plus with the mixed teams, boys and girls, it’ll be a great experience for them.”

Bauer’s wife Nicole said it would be hard work, but the players were already so excited to be invited.

“We’re going to be pounding the pavement with the Krispy Kreme fundraiser, and we’re always looking for new ideas,” she said.

“Just playing on different grounds and in different conditions, it’s going to be awesome.”

To support the team, phone 0499 722 013, or pick up a doughnut box from Guthridge Fish and Chips in Sale.