Rockhampton Grammar School’s captains of cricket, Reegan Brown (left) and Lauren Shackleton, gear up for their school’s First XI cricket trials.
Rockhampton Grammar School’s captains of cricket, Reegan Brown (left) and Lauren Shackleton, gear up for their school’s First XI cricket trials. Allan Reinikka

Push for more night time cricket

JUNIOR cricketers like Reegan Brown and Lauren Shackleton could be soon lighting up a cricket field near you.

A statewide cricket review of junior cricket has revealed a push by parents and officials for matches to be played at night, rather than Saturday mornings.

The idea has also been endorsed by Test legend Matthew Hayden, who believes the concept could attract more kids to play cricket and free up time on the weekends for families.

The trial of junior cricket under lights has been in place in Rockhampton for the past couple of seasons, with under-9s matches played on Friday nights at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds.

Rockhampton Junior Cricket president Lionel Sypher said yesterday he would love to see all junior cricket games played under lights - in an ideal world.

But with only one field with lights, Mr Sypher said the biggest issue was finding appropriate venues to cater for all age groups.

Teams from under-9s to under-17s play in the Rockhampton junior competition.

"Facilities are our killer," Mr Sypher said.

"We just don't have enough fields under lights.

"The biggest problem is getting grants to put lights up (on other wickets)."

Mr Sypher said junior cricket numbers had dwindled in recent years, with more parents working on weekends and the overlapping of winter sports the main factors.

Leading Rockhampton cricketer and Rockhampton Grammar School coach Todd Wells said Twenty20 cricket could be the answer to more night-time fixtures.

"It's definitely the way of the future playing under lights and getting the kids out of the sun," he said.

"What we can do to provide more night cricket is with more Twenty20s.

"Realistically, to light all the fields is a very expensive process so if there's a multi-millionaire out there who wants to put up some money we'd love to play all games under lights, seniors included."



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