A bunch of Australia’s oldest and most enthusiastic cricketers will descend upon Barooga as the annual Masters Cricket Festival comes to town.
Now in its 14th year, the popular tournament starts on Monday and will see four days of action, with all matches played at Barooga Main Oval and Barooga No.2.
Eight teams will be competing across two divisions, with two pools of four teams making up each division. This will mean an influx of 100 players, with visitor numbers including family members expected to bring almost 300 people to Cobram-Barooga.
The festival is contested by players over the age of 35 years.
Shepparton will be competing in division two and will be up against the likes of Narre North, Beaconsfield and Gippsland United, who won the tournament in 2017.
Shepparton will battle Narre North in its first match, which will be played at Barooga Main Oval at 5pm Monday. It will face Gippsland United at Barooga No.2 on Wednesday at 9am, before looking to end the tournament on a high when it takes on Beaconsfield at Barooga No.2 at 9am Thursday.
The first day’s play is 30 overs per team, with Twenty-20 games being played on the last two days.
Modified rules include shortened run-ups, closer boundaries, limited overs for bowlers and batting retirements that all ensure the games are close and enjoyable.
Festival co-ordinator and Barooga Sports Club promotions manager Mick O’Dwyer said the public could expect some entertaining theatre.
‘‘Spectators will witness entertaining cricket in these games. Players take it quite seriously but there is still plenty of room for some very funny antics and comments during games,’’ O’Dwyer said.