Old Bulls charge in for big Ipswich tour
A NUMBER of players with ties to the Ipswich area and a current rugby league legend, will play for the Queensland Rail Bulls Masters charity cricket team when it tours the city in mid-November.
The Bulls Masters team will face an Ipswich Cricket Invitational XI at Baxter Oval on November 18.
Former Australian fast bowler Andy Bichel, Test batsman Greg Ritchie and Sheffield Shield winner Dirk Tazelaar will be part of the squad. They will be joined by special guest, current Queensland and Australia rugby league captain Cameron Smith.
The Bulls Masters team will also feature ex-Australian representatives Ian Healy, Michael Kasprowicz, Carl Rackemann and Jeff Thomson, as well as former England run-making machine Graeme Hick.
Although the Bulls Masters have toured the state in recent years, this will be the first chance for Ipswich regional fans to see the former greats on home soil.
Bulls Masters managing director Jimmy Maher said the tour was a great opportunity for the players to give back something to one of Australia's great breeding grounds for sport.
"We have received a terrific response from all the regional communities we have visited and I think the people of Ipswich and surrounds will get right behind the tour in November," Maher said.
"The area has produced some phenomenal cricket talent over the years.
"Greg Ritchie learnt the game while he was at Silkstone State School, Dirk Tazelaar used to turn out for Northern Suburbs Cricket Club, while Andy Bichel is a Laidley boy who is also on the Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association honour roll.
"The list just goes on when you think that Craig McDermott and Shane Watson are both Ipswich Grammar old boys, as are current Queensland Bulls Nathan Reardon and Cameron Gannon."
Maher said one of the reasons the Bulls Masters was formed was to give young cricketers a chance to gain experience from working with former greats.
"I would love to think the next Shane Watson is out there and hopefully we can inspire him and all the other young sportspeople around Ipswich," he said.
Maher was also delighted to have Smith on board for his first tour, not long after he was named the Rugby League International Federation's International Player of the Year.
As well as the Twenty20 match at Baxter Oval, the Bulls masters will be involved in a number of events including school clinics.
From November 16-18, the QR Bulls Masters will be conducting an Ipswich regional tour, consisting of various events, including:
Charity Golf Day on Friday November 16 at Ipswich Golf Club. Registrations at 11.30am for 12.30pm tee-off.
Sportsman's Dinner on Saturday, November 17 at Ipswich Golf Club (7pm). Tickets $110 per head or $1000 for table of 10.
T20 game on Sunday, November 18 at Ivor Marsden Memorial Sporting Complex. Game starts at 2pm. Entry $10 for 16 and over.
The Bulls Masters team for the Ipswich tour features Andy Bichel, Gavin Fitness, Geoff Foley, Ian Healy, Ken Healy, Graeme Hick, Michael Kasprowicz, Jimmy Maher, Clinton Perren, Scott Prestwidge, Carl Rackemann, Greg Ritchie, Greg Rowell, Chris Simpson, Cameron Smith, Dirk Tazelaar and Jeff Thomson.
Inquiries with Kyron Williams on 0457 564 617.