Elected mem­bers play the game

Hamilton News - - Front Page - Tom Row­land

Elected of­fi­cials will be rep­re­sent­ing the public in a dif­fer­ent man­ner on Sun­day as they take to the cricket pitch to com­pete against an In­dian se­lec­tion.

Af­ter a thrilling cricket sea­son for the Black Caps, Hamil­ton-based Labour MP Jamie Strange did not want the sea­son to end, and teamed up with Rupin­der Virk to or­gan­ise a spe­cial cricket match be­tween the teams.

The match will be played at Steele Park start­ing at 1pm with a chil­dren’s game run­ning along­side the main show.

Mr Strange said the game was sparked by an ini­tia­tive to pro­mote MPS’ and coun­cil­lors in­ter­ac­tions with the com­mu­nity and en­cour­age wider par­tic­i­pa­tion in sport and fit­ness.

“It’s im­por­tant that com­mu­nity lead­ers lead by ex­am­ple in en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to live healthy, ac­tive lives,” Mr Strange said.

Mr Strange will be team­ing up with an ad­ver­sary in the par­lia­men­tary cham­bers af­ter call­ing up Na­tional MP for Hamil­ton East David Ben­nett to his team. Tim Macin­doe, who is the Na­tional MP for Hamil­ton West, will be um­pir­ing the game.

Hamil­ton city coun­cil­lors will also have a strong show­ing in the team with Dave Macpher­son, Mark Bunting, Ryan Hamil­ton, Garry Mal­lett and James Cas­son also tak­ing part.

Mr Cas­son said he hoped his team had some ta­lent be­hind it as he was scared of the op­po­si­tion’s skill.

“I spoke with Rupin­der Virk [rep­re­sen­ta­tive of New Zealand In­dian Cen­tral As­so­ci­a­tion] about the pos­si­bil­ity of a game. He and his or­gan­i­sa­tion were keen, so we worked to­gether to make it hap­pen.”

The As­so­ci­a­tion has been rep­re­sent­ing In­di­ans in New Zealand since 1926.

Mr Virk said that de­spite the win­ter sports creep­ing in, the plan has had a pos­i­tive re­sponse.

“This ini­tia­tive has been well re­ceived through­out the com­mu­nity. The In­dia Premier League is cur­rently in full swing, mean­ing that peo­ple are still fo­cused on cricket,” Mr Virk said.

Four North­ern Dis­trict play­ers will also be mak­ing an ap­pear­ance and run­ning a coach­ing ses­sion for the kids dur­ing the in­nings break, in­clud­ing Samantha Cur­tis from the North­ern Spirit and Zac Smith from the North­ern Knights.

The pair are look­ing to make this an an­nual event in Hamil­ton.

“We will look to have a fol­low up match in late Jan­uary or early Fe­bru­ary next year,” Mr Strange said.

Rupin­der Virk also said that they were mak­ing it a fun-filled day for the lo­cals, invit­ing them to come and meet lo­cal MPS, cricket stars and have a fam­ily pic­nic at the park. There will be fun ac­tiv­i­ties and spot prizes for kids.

“Bring your pic­nic lunch, and en­joy this fun event. We would love to see you all there.”

Photo / Sup­plied

Rupin­der Virk and Labour MP Jamie Strange have or­gan­ised a cricket game be­tween elected of­fi­cials and a lo­cal In­dian se­lec­tion.

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