Blewett takes up bat in Lismore
Former Test cricketer turned commentator Greg Blewett is hoping to add a big score at Oakes Oval to his list of sporting achievements when he pulls on the pads for the Masters Twenty20 match against a local invitational side on Friday night.
The team will include Andy Bichel, Rodney Hogg, Len Pascoe and Greg Matthews and will be in Lismore from today (Thursday, October 1) for a dinner at the Lismore Workers Club. Then some coaching clinics on the Friday morning for about 300 kids before the main game to be played at Oakes Oval on Friday evening from 6pm.
The invitational team will include former Australian Women's captain Lyn Larsen and the captain of the NSW Indigenous side, Andrew Gordon, as well as representatives from Lismore, Casino and Ballina.
The program also assists local cricket associations to raise money and identifies exceptional local talent through a scholarship program. Two or three talented young Lismore players will be in line to win a bursary of $1000 and have an ACA Master mentor them as they take to the field on Friday evening.
“It's a good concept to promote the game of cricket, taking it to country areas, identifying local talent,” Blewett said.
“With the coaching clinics, we talk to the kids about what they can do to improve, where they may need to go. They may need to move to a city area if they want to progress with their cricket.
“I was sports mad as a kid. Growing up in the Barossa Valley it was football in winter, cricket in the summer.” Blewett now travels the world commentating on cricket. But there are traps broadcasting live.
“In the Indian Premier League in South Africa recently, there are two Bollywood owners - Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty. One of the names flashed up on screen and I got all tongue-tied and said 'Pretty Shitty'. That's been my standout mistake so far, but I'm sure there'll be more,” he said.
Blewett said the toughest bowlers he'd ever faced were Curtly Ambrose and Wasim Akram.
“My first tour of the West Indies in 1995, we hadn't beaten them in a series over there for years and years and that was the handing over of the mantle of best side in the world, so to be a part of that was a real highlight,” he said. “But there have been a lot of highlights - to score a hundred on debut in my home town of Adelaide in the Ashes was pretty good as well.”