Elected members play the game
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.”
Rupinder Virk and Labour MP Jamie Strange have organised a cricket game between elected officials and a local Indian selection.