Ray Jonassen can’t wait to join forces with daughter Jessica and the rest of Raymo’s Rebels when the News2U Country Carnival begins tomorrow.
Ray Jonassen can’t wait to join forces with daughter Jessica and the rest of Raymo’s Rebels when the News2U Country Carnival begins tomorrow. Chris Ison

Rebel force one to watch

RAY Jonassen believes in saving the best for last.

Jonassen joins forces with daughter and Queensland women's cricketer of the year Jess to lead a star-studded Raymo's Rebels' line-up in this weekend's annual News2U Country Cricket Carnival.

In the Rebels second official year in the annual carnival, Jonassen said it was likely he'd bat at the bottom of the order “to score a few runs when we need them” and would bowl sparingly in the third-grade turf competition.

The cricket enthusiast has put together a side with a mix of players from current stars to those who believe they still are stars.

“We've got three 50-year-olds, a 40-year-old, a 13-year-old, a couple of handy cricketers from Brisbane and Jess is playing too,” Jonassen said.

Jessica recently became the youngest winner of the Kath Smith Medal for Brisbane grade cricket's best-and-fairest women's cricketer at the Queensland Grade Cricket Awards, and earlier this year she was named 2010-11 Konica Minolta Queensland Fire Player of the Year.

Ray is expecting the competition to be tough, with his side's first match against last year's runner-up Duaringa Hounddawgs, but he admitted the weekend's cricket was more about having fun and playing cricket in the right spirit.

Along with the Jonassens, Ray said his hand-picked side included “the great” Kelly McGuire and his son Rylie McGuire, father and son duo Craig and Jason Davey, and all-rounder Kyle Harper.

Cricket action begins at noon tomorrow at venues around the region and continues until Sunday, with 30 teams participating in this year's carnival, which will be played across seven grades.

While numbers are down on previous years, Rockhampton Cricket Incorporated president Peter Wells said he was happy with the number of nominations, considering the change in date.

“The maximum we could normally cater for is about 60, so to get half at Easter time is great.

“That's what we were hoping for,” Wells said.

“We decided pretty early on to at least call for nominations.

“A lot of the teams backed up and were happy to play in Easter,” he added.

“It's just great that we can continue on this tradition.”



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