The best young cricketers from across the country will converge on the local area from January 5 for the 2018 School Sports Australia 12 Years and Under Cricket Championships.
Matches will be played at cricket ovals in Barooga, Berrigan, Tocumwal, Finley, Cobram, Yarrawonga and Numurkah, with Barooga’s ovals being the central point of the week-long carnival.
More than 700 players, coaches, officials and family members will flood the Southern Riverina for the championships, which are also being hailed as a positive economic boost for the area.
Finley Cricket Club president Chris Shaw said the championships would benefit local clubs and businesses.
‘‘It’s fantastic to host some of the best up and coming players in the country,’’ he said.
‘‘Some exceptional talent will be on display so I’d encourage everyone to come along and watch at their local club ... you never know, the next Steve Smith might be playing.
‘‘This is wonderful for our cricket club and the town, to be hosting such an event.
‘‘Any time an event like this is on, it’s great for the local area ... not just Finley.
‘‘We have first class facilities and we hope our visitors will enjoy using them,’’ Shaw said.
This will be the sixth time the local region has hosted the event, which is more than any other venue in Australia.
Eight boys and eight girls teams from every state and territory will take part in the championships.
The players will arrive on Friday, January 5 for the opening ceremony at the Barooga Recreation Reserve.
The teams will play in six games including finals.
In what is a first for School Sport Australia, a night game will be played at Barooga with traditional arch rivals NSW playing Victoria in the boys’ draw.
The closing ceremony will be held on Friday, January 12 following both the girls and boys finals.