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Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Page: 358

Mr ADAMS (Lyons) (19:15): I would like to follow up on what my colleague the member for Bass, Geoff Lyons, was talking about just before question time today. He was remarking on the amazing feats of Tasmanian cricketers. We have a state of only 500,000 people, yet we have managed to supply the Australian cricket team with so many top players over the years. Ricky Ponting is of course one of those who stand out. Punta, the boy from Mowbray, was a marvellous captain. When he took over the reins he guided the team to many victories. In later times he has had a quieter time. He gave up the captaincy to Michael Clark, who is doing a great job. There was a lot of pressure on Punta from the New South Wales cricket mafia and from some commentators, I thought. Punta was great in his captaincy and ever since.

We have Hilfy, Ben Hilfenhaus, a terrific bowler who has come back and bowled extremely well this summer. He is from the north-west coast. He is a brickie. He has reorganised his technique and has really cut through. We have Doherty. There is Tim Paine, who has unfortunately been out with injury for some time. He is a great wicketkeeper and opening batsman and he would fit in very well in the Australian cricket team. I wish him the best.

There is Jason Krejza; George Bailey, who is now the captain of Tasmania and captain of the Australian one-day cricket team; Ed Cowan; James Faulkner; and of course the one-day-cricket Tasmanian Tigers, who recently thrashed New South Wales by three wickets. I think they are still on top of the one-day ladder. They are Mark Cosgrove, Jonathan Wells, Ed Cowan, George Bailey, James Faulkner, Ashton May, Luke Butterworth, Jason Krejza, Brady Jones, who is wicketkeeper, Jackson Bird, Ben Laughlin and Matt Johnston. They did a great job on 4 February when they thrashed New South Wales.

Cricket is a great game, and in Tasmania there are many country clubs and many kids playing cricket. You see kids everywhere. There are many opportunities for young people to be involved in cricket. There are many organised young people's games but there are also kids playing cricket in the backyard, on the beach, in the paddock or in the streets. Of course now a lot of women are playing cricket. It is great to see that growing in Tasmania. It is great to see that game televised between the New Zealand White Ferns and Australia recently.

I gave my six-year-old granddaughter a small bat when she was about four, in case she wanted to take up the game as her grandfather did years ago. My family has been involved in the Cressy Cricket Club for many years. That club goes back to the 1800s. Cricket is an institution in Tasmania. We have played a lot of cricket. I remember my uncle Ray teaching me how to bat in the cowshed; how to keep the front foot forward and the elbow up. Although defensive cricket has changed a bit in recent years, it was a good way to learn.

I remember on Australia Day at Avoca we opened the old schoolhouse and turned it into a tourist centre. The mayor announced some of the awards for the local municipality. The youngsters were flat out on the grass behind the centre playing their hearts out in a backyard game. It looked pretty serious, and the wicket looked pretty bouncy. The balls came through at a whole different level.

Cricket is a great pastime for Tasmanians. I believe Bellerive Oval must be one of the best and most picturesque grounds in the world. It is a great advertisement for Tasmania. Whenever the opportunity comes to play a test match or other international games there when we get a focus on it— (Time expired)