Richie Benaud Cup at Johnny Martin Oval



Taree cricketers Andrew Croker (umpire), Graeme Morley and Rod Thomson had the rare opportunity to experience umpiring and playing on the SCG at the Richie Benaud Cup Finals Day back in February.
Taree cricketers Andrew Croker (umpire), Graeme Morley and Rod Thomson had the rare opportunity to experience umpiring and playing on the SCG at the Richie Benaud Cup Finals Day back in February.

TAREE’S Johnny Martin Oval (JMO) will be the venue for the Mid North Coast round of the Richie Benaud Cup on Sunday, December 10, where players from the winning team may get the opportunity to play at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Benaud Cup is is a State-wide eight-a-side T20 cricket competition that will culminate with at the SCG with finals in January.

In all 32 sides will be involved.

Nominations close for the MNC round this week and only four sides will be involved. The competition started last season and is conducted by The Primary Club of Australia, where Richie Benaud was a patron.

Organiser, Trent Thomson, said there has already been expressions of interest shown by two sides for December 10 – one from Taree and the other from Kempsey. He doesn’t anticipate any problems filling the four spots.

It’s a knockout and the winner from the Mid North Coast round will progress to the next round at Barker College in Sydney on January 14. Next step will be the finals at the SCG on Monday January 29, where games will be played under lights.

Mr Thomson said it is similar to the football FFA Cup that pits amateur bush players against their city counterparts. While he said the opposition will be tough after the Mid North Coast round, there’s a chance a Manning team could win their way to the finals.

The cup will be played in the same format as Last Man Stands (LMS) T20 cricket. Mr Thomson, who is the North Coast manager for LMS, said Taree will host the Mid North Coast round for the foreseeable future and it is hoped to eventually expand the cup to include more teams.

“We could play matches at Johnny Martin Oval and Chatham Park on the one day, with the winners then meeting to decide the overall champions,’’ he said.

“We’re certainly looking to grow the concept. Playing at the SCG is the dream for every cricketer, and this will give our local players to opportunity to achieve the dream.’’

All monies raised go to The Primary Club which provides facilities for disabled sporting groups. Mr Thomson can be contacted on 0449 544 327 for further details.