FU­TURE STARS PAD UP

The Sunday Times - - PERTH TEST COUNTDOWN: 5 DAYS TO GO - JOSH ZIM­MER­MAN

MITCHELL Starc and Vi­rat Kohli won’t be the only crick­eters show­cas­ing their tal­ents dur­ing next week­end’s his­toric first Test at Op­tus Sta­dium — WA’s next crop of young stars will be out in force too.

More than 700 kids will have an op­por­tu­nity to bat, bowl and field on the same stage as their idols and in front of thou­sands of spec­ta­tors as part of ju­nior pro­gram Wool­worths Cricket Blast.

The lucky young­sters, all un­der 10 years old, will be let loose on the Op­tus Sta­dium turf dur­ing lunch on each day of the Test.

West­ern Aus­tralian Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion cricket man­ager James He­witt said it was an op­por­tu­nity for boys and girls to ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­cite­ment of play­ing on a pro­fes­sional ground.

“They used to do the same thing at the WACA — my kids did it back in 2012 and they still talk about it to­day,” he said.

“We’ll be out there for 25 min­utes dur­ing lunch and the kids will take part in a com­bi­na­tion of skill sta­tions and mod­i­fied games.”

The fourth day of the Test is ded­i­cated to coun­try kids, many of whom will be vis­it­ing the sta­dium for the first time.

The se­cond Test be­tween Aus­tralia and In­dia be­gins on Fri­day.

Pic­ture: Daniel Wilkins

Field of dreams: Luke Donoghey, Holly Flegg, De­clan Bar­ton, Keelia Bar­ton, Elsie Flegg, Char­lotte Arm­strong, Wil­liam Arm­strong and James Don­aghey.

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