Ryan Lepore - 7 October 2013
Stepping off a plane from Darwin the morning of your first ever match at the Australian Masters Games isn’t exactly ideal preparation but it is something Neil King is all too happy to do.
The former head of Athletics Australia, who also had a stint as CEO of Geelong Football Club, is competing at his first Games in the 60+ cricket competition. King is not new to the masters concept, after just returning from the AFL Masters in Darwin for over 35s, which had over 1000 participants.
Being involved in overseeing and coordinating events in the past, King jumped at the chance to compete at his first Games.
“I’ve played over 60s cricket for three years now and most of us get to know each other pretty well, so when we saw that we could play here, a couple of teams got together and we’re just a rag tag mob filled with just whoever was around,” he laughed.
King certainly loves the mateship and banter that goes along with over 60s cricket.
“Everyone’s out their having a great time, sledging each other. The sledging has been diabolical, telling each other how bad we are but we’re all thoroughly enjoying it.”
The Stawell Gift runner-up in 1976 and coach of multiple winners of the famous race, King has stayed in excellent shape since his glory days has always had a passion for cricket.
“I have always loved cricket and really wished I was a better cricketer and because I have stayed fairly fit, I’ve been able to balance the fitness with my lack of ability at the game,” he said.
King was certainly under selling his talents scoring 30 not out in his side’s loss to the Geelong over 60s by 15 runs. Geelong finished 2/131 off their 14 overs defeating the combinations team who finished on 4/116.
In the other cricket results today the North Geelong over 40s team took on a combined team made up of mainly indoor cricketers from New South Wales and Queensland. The locals who won gold at the Games in 2009, were in fine form again, recording a comfortable win in their two innings match. The combinations managed 4/83 and 5/75 from their two 14 over innings while North Geelong managed to score 6/116 and 3/114.
Local legend, Ross Aylmer who has played cricket for over 40 years around the local area, including the last 15 at North Geelong, top scored with a stunning 55 not out including a big six to notch his half-century. His ex-teammate Peter Quick scored an unbeaten 40 in North Geelong’s second innings.
The cricket action continues at South Barwon Reserve right through to Friday.
The Australian Masters Games will be staged until Saturday 12 October and is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events.
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