Cricket Shepparton set to take part in exhibition match

By Tyler Maher

An exciting opportunity has arisen for six Cricket Shepparton players to take part in an exhibition clash at Deakin Reserve next month alongside some former greats of the game.

Greater Shepparton will play host to the Australian Country Cricket Championships from January 3 to 11, but to kick-start the festivities a marquee Twenty20 fixture will be held on the evening of January 2.

Last season’s Australian Men’s Country XI will face a composite team — the Australian Cricket Association Allstars — under lights at Shepparton’s spiritual home of sport before this summer’s tournament begins in earnest.

The ACA Masters will provide six players for the Allstars outfit, with the local association asked to fill the remaining spots in the 12-player team.

The Masters are mostly former Australian representatives and the six local players who earn the chance to rub shoulders with them will certainly learn a lot from the experience.

Cricket Shepparton president David D’Elia made the exciting announcement on OneFM’s broadcast of Sunday’s one-day final and indicated the association would give preference to its younger cricketers when filling the Allstars side.

‘‘We have the opportunity for six players (to line up) and we’re looking for the younger generation of Cricket Shepparton players,’’ D’Elia said.

The ACA Masters are no strangers to the region, with the likes of Andy Bichel, Alex Blackwell, Ben Dunk, Mark Cosgrove and Jason Krejza appearing in an exhibition match against Murray Valley Cricket Association at Barooga recently.