Cricket NSW’s annual Country Blitz will be held virtually for the first time next Tuesday and Wednesday as stars of the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder connect with local schools and junior clubs across regional and rural NSW and the ACT.
This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Blitz will be delivered remotely by players and local Community Cricket staff with players from the Sixers and Thunder BBL and WBBL teams, and several NSW Blues, involved.
Among the stars involved are captain of the Sixers BBL|09 champion team, Moises Henriques, Thunder teenage sensation Phoebe Litchfield and former Test seamer Trent Copeland.
Each Big Bash club will drive its own initiatives in different parts of the state.
As part of the Community Blast driven by Toyo Tyres, Sixers players will ‘virtually’ visit regions North of Sydney, reaching as far north as the Tweed, while the Thunder Regional Engagement tour will connect with communities in Western and Southern NSW, as well as the ACT.
Henriques, who will dial in with junior cricketers from the Coffs Coast on Tuesday night, said despite not being able to be on site as in past years, he was still keen to inspire the community to love and play cricket.
“This year has really been challenging for everyone and while we can’t be there face to face, it’s great that we can still connect with the local community online,” Henriques said.
“Lots of Australia’s best cricketers have come from areas in regional NSW and the Community Blast is one way for the Sixers to ensure we keep inspiring the next generation of top cricketers from the country.
“Cricket is going to provide some relief for so many people this summer and it’s something for everyone to look forward to.
“It’s such a fantastic sport for Aussie kids to get active in a safe and controlled environment because it’s a sport where social distancing can be implemented, and kids can play in a COVID-safe way.
“If our virtual visit can inspire even one new cricket player or fan it is all worth it.”
Meanwhile, Litchfield, who is still completing her schooling at Kinross Wolaroi School in Orange, said it was really special to give back to the community that has given her so much during her young life.
“The Central West is home, and inspiring Thunder fans in the region is really important to me,” said Litchfield, 17.
“These are the types of things that drove my dreams as a young kid and I hope we can do the same.
“It was so inspiring to see the Australian women’s team lift the World Cup in front of a packed MCG earlier this year, and for a new generation of girls to join the game this summer would be just as uplifting.”
Cricket NSW General Manager, Community Cricket, Ivan Spyrdz, said the Country Blitz was always a great and enjoyable event on the calendar for Cricket NSW players and staff.
“We did not want to let the COVID situation stop us from connecting with regional communities this year,” said Mr Spyrdz.
“To have a virtual Country Blitz will not only allow us to continue to connect with our regional communities, it’s actually allowing us to connect with more communities than ever before, and signal we are ready to go for another exciting season of cricket all across NSW and ACT.”
You can get involved now to be a part of it this cricket season. Registrations are open!
Woolworths Cricket Blast programs start from this October.
You can search for your local club at playcricket.com.au for program details.
For more info on the Sydney Sixers, go to www.sydneysixers.com.au
For more info on the Sydney Thunder, go to www.sydneythunder.com.au