Sport

Tatts Cricket Club enjoys marvellous time abroad

Both president Ward and captain Gleeson urge other clubs to organise a similar tour in the future

Tatts Cricket Club team members with the Vanuatu men’s national cricket team during the two sides’ first 50-over match. Tatts players (in dark green and grey) are - back, Tom Groth, Ryan O’Neill, Michael Leven, Tom Craig, Toby Bentley, Brendon Ward, Bill Wood, front, skipper Craig Gleeson, Jake Packer, Zac Craig, Michael Cain, Andy Craig and Chris Higgins.

On Saturday, August 5, the Tatts Cricket Club embarked on a week-long tour of Vanuatu.

Four spectators and 13 players formed the touring party, which landed in Port Vila that Saturday night.

During the following week the team played three matches - two 50 over matches and a T20.

It challenged the Vanuatu national side in those two 50-over matches, to help the national outfit prepare for the World Cricket League Division Five in South Africa in September.

Tatts Cricket Club president Brendon Ward was one of the driving forces behind the initial planning of the tour, as well as making it a reality.

He said the whole experience - especially the school visits - was very rewarding.

“I had a bit of an idea what the school visits were going to be like, but that was probably the most rewarding thing,” Ward said.

“A few of the younger guys getting to experience that atmosphere and school environment was important.

“It doesn’t compare to anything that they’ve ever seen, especially the ones who hadn’t been overseas before.

“They got a lot out of it and it was pretty good to watch.”

On the field Ward said that his side adapted well to the quality of opposition, and said that the tour would benefit the Tatts Cricket Club come round one of the Narrabri District Cricket Association season.

“It was a very high standard of cricket,” Ward said.

“Being a national side Vanuatu were quite well drilled, they had their whole game plan sorted out.

“We were a bit shell shocked at first.

“In the second game we bowled better and fielded better, and we batted a lot better.

“It was a perfect preseason trip.

“The boys are now all ready to go for the 2017-18 season.

“There were a few older people on the tour and a few younger people so it was a really good dynamic and it worked really well.”

Ward said he hoped that a Narrabri/Vanuatu connection would be maintained in the coming seasons, and he encouraged other clubs to organise a similar tour of Vanuatu next year.

Tatts tour captain Craig Gleeson agreed.

“I’d encourage any other clubs, even a district team to organise something similar,” Gleeson said.