2023’s Festival of Cricket on the Sunshine Coast: A Celebration of Sport, Talent and Community

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2023’s Festival of Cricket on the Sunshine Coast: A Celebration of Sport, Talent and Community

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2023’s Festival of Cricket on the Sunshine Coast: A Celebration of Sport, Talent and Community

On September 2nd and 3rd, Maroochydore Cricket Club played host to the Festival of Cricket, promoting cricket on the Coast. The weekend boasted women’s and men’s KFC T20 Max matches, along with a free clinic to encourage girls aged 5 to 16 to get into cricket. The festival allowed locals to both witness professional cricketing prowess and get involved in the action.  

All-star showcase on the Sunshine Coast 

The festival brought players from interstate and overseas together on the Sunshine Coast, including Melbourne Renegades Captain Mackenzie Harvey, who was particularly excited to be playing cricket away from the cold weather in Victoria.  

For Sam Truloff, Captain of the Sunshine Coast Scorchers, the event was about more than just playing cricket. “Being a little bit further away from Brisbane, access to cricket is a little bit difficult,” he noted, adding that the festival provided a unique opportunity to show off the talent on the Sunshine Coast and promote the sport at premier levels.

Andrew Pearce, Sunshine Coast’s Director of Cricket, called the event “a connection point”, offering locals the opportunity to witness high-calibre cricket right on their doorstep. 

Brad Wigney, Head Coach of the Scorchers’ Male Program, was particularly chuffed with how the event brought up-and-comers in contact with professionals, citing it as “invaluable” for the young players. The festival demonstrated that with the right guidance and opportunities, locals could reach the heights of their cricketing heroes.

Women’s cricket takes the spotlight

The festival was also an active demonstration of cricket’s evolution in recent years, particularly in women’s cricket. Nicola Brown, Area Manager for Queensland Cricket, shared her excitement at witnessing talent so close to home. Meanwhile, Jess Jonassen, an Australian women’s cricketer, shared the importance of inspiring younger generations in order to strengthen the sport. Australian Women’s Cricket Ambassador Holly Ferling echoed this sentiment, emphasising the need for visibility and representation in women’s cricket – after all, “you can’t be what you can’t see”.

Two young participants in Saturday’s Girls Get Into Cricket clinic shared their excitement at the skill-building experience of taking part in the festival, as well as the constructive feedback they received and the friends they made.

The Coast’s competitive edge

According to Jay Lenton, Assistant Coach of the Sydney Sixers, the T20 Max competition is the best in the country at the moment, while Josh Brown from Brisbane Heat said that being involved in the competition was “unreal”. Overall, the festival was – according to Ben Baker from the Sunshine Coast Scorchers – a “really good kick-off to what’s going to be a great season”.

The Festival of Cricket not only showcases the evolution of the sport but also underscores the significance of community-driven initiatives in nurturing future cricketing stars. With the competition already bigger and better than its inaugural year in 2022, we’re excited for what 2024’s biggest cricketing weekend has in store.

Check out the full Sunshine Coast Festival of Cricket video below!

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