The game that keeps giving: LMS
From a crazy idea his mate had to playing on some of cricket’s most famous grounds like Lord’s, Marty Henderson has ridden the Last Man Stands wave to the fullest.
Henderson said for normal blokes who worked full-time, raised a family and had other commitments, the chance to travel the world playing cricket was an absolute gift, while representing his country an achievement he never thought possible. He recommends anyone interested in cricket give the innovative league a go.
“One hundred per cent,” he said.
“It’s fast. You have to retire at 50, so everyone gets a go. You get a bat, bowl and have a bit of a field. It is quite active in the field as well because there are only six fielders, so you are always in the action.
“You don’t waste your whole day and win or lose, you have a couple of drinks and go home.”
Henderson said while the late Anthony Johnstone laid the foundations for Ipswich LMS, successor Andrew Levett had continued to advance the league.
“Andy has been great,” Henderson said.
“AJ did the hard yards but he passed away about three years ago. Andy has done the work to grow the game past the loss of AJ.”
Dream team matches, live streaming and more stats than ever are some of the features introduced in recent seasons. While enjoyment is the reason people play, the opportunity to travel is another carrot which entices players. When local teams take out the Australian Championships, they receive $10,000 but that money must go towards funding their trip of a lifetime abroad to the World Cup. Even at an elite level, LMS remains very social and these events offer a fantastic cultural exchange.
Henderson said it was also interesting to see the different styles of LMS played across the world, with the brand and indeed the statistical records of players often reflecting their home conditions.
“We play a lot of our games on synthetic, so the strike rates are higher and the bowling figures poorer,” he said.
“Whereas some of the other countries play predominantly on turf, so the bowling figures are better and the strike rates are lower.
“Each country is different. Each region is different. They all have their own way.”