JOINING FORCES: Mike Nowlan at Bichel Oval in Laidley.
JOINING FORCES: Mike Nowlan at Bichel Oval in Laidley.

Merger brings new opportunities for veteran cricketers

CRICKET: A major shake-up has come to the Lockyer Veteran's Cricket club, following a merger with the Ipswich club.

Late last year, Ipswich approached the Lockyer with a request to merge their over 60s sides, a request Lockyer saw fit to accept.

"It's significant, because you don't often get a big area like Ipswich coming to a little area like Lockyer," Lockyer Valley Veterans Cricket Association president Mike Nowlan said.

Lockyer will be the controlling entity in the partnership, which will play Lockyer/Ipswich in over 60s, first and second divisions.

"I wanted to make it as smooth as possible for everybody," Mr Nowlan said.

"Their (Ipswich) representatives will be involved in the selection of each team to play, their representatives will come onto our committee, and have a voice in whatever is to go on."

Though the merger should bring more players to the area, another change being implemented this year has turned away some players.

Under the new rule, all players must wear helmets for official matches, a mandate that has perturbed players who have never previously needed to use helmets.

"Some of the blokes, like me, have never worn helmets and some of them are saying 'nuh, that's it for me', so we're still trying to sort out who's playing," Mr Nowlan said.

"We'll have less numbers this year than what we did last year, but there's somewhere between fifty and sixty involved."

The Ipswich/Lockyer partnership will mingle at Cahill Park this Sunday, February 23, for a trial match.

"We'll just mix them all in together. The idea of this match is to get them all to merge with each other, to get to know each other," Mr Nowlan said.

"Obviously they feel pretty comfortable with Lockyer already to have made the approach, but we need to continue that feeling."

Anyone is free to come along and watch the teams play, which is expected to begin about 10am, and finish at 5pm.

This won't be the only game happening on the day.

"On the other ground, our over 50s side is playing the Toowoomba over 50s side," Mr Nowlan said.

"Anybody in their 50s or 60s interested in getting involved in veteran's cricket can come along and make themselves known."