Backyard cricket supports education projects

Backyard cricket supports education projects

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James Male with his son Daniel preparing for the National Backyard Cricket Day on the tennis court on the family farm near Yerong Creek.

James Male with his son Daniel preparing for the National Backyard Cricket Day on the tennis court on the family farm near Yerong Creek.

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Riverina farmers join with Batting for Change to improve access to education at home and abroad.

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Backyard cricket is a rite of passage for many Australians during the summer.

This summer, Riverina farmers are joining with Batting for Change to encourage families and cricket fans to drag out their wheelie bins, strap on their pads and take guard before makeshift wickets to support education projects across Australia and the world.

Batting for Change is the fund raising charity for The Learning for a Better World (LBW) Trust, which provides educational opportunities for young men and women in the developing world.

The initiative will also raise much-needed funds to assist in similar education projects in overseas cricket-playing nations.

The activities are nationwide as part of the National Backyard Cricket Day to be held on January 31, 2021.

The inaugural event is backed by cricket legends, including Justin Langer, Alex Blackwell, Ryan Carters, Russel Arnold, Alyssa Healy, Ed Cowan and Michael Holding.

Yerong Creek-district farmer James Male is hosting a showcase game to be held at the family property Foligen Park, Yerong Creek, on January 22.

"I'm a huge supporter of Batting for Change," he said.

"We've all got amazing memories of playing backyard cricket, so January 31 is a great opportunity to get all your family and friends together and raise some important funds for some unbelievable initiatives."

Mr Male said the current COVID-19 pandemic was having a severe impact on rural areas in Australia and overseas.

"We're proud to be able to support The LBW Trust assist many educational projects in those regions," he said.

"Cricket is a wonderful game which brings a lot of people all over the world together, it is not defined by class."

By his own admission, Mr Male said he was more willing than capable on the cricket pitch.

"I've always loved backyard cricket, and although I can't bat, can't bowl, can't field, but I'm a tremendous sledger and I enjoy the team spirit," he said.

"We will be hosting five teams of four players in a round-robin series where two teams play and three sit out."

Mr Male explained the game will be held on the tennis court with a short pitch and each player bowls two overs.

'We will have the classic backyard cricket rules," he said.

"Over the tennis court is obviously six and out: but if you hit the back fence on the full it is six, if you hit it along the ground it is four and if you hit the side fence on the full it is two runs.

"Ball tampering and sledging is encouraged but if you make a child cry you are out!"

The LBW Trust chairman and Yerong Creek farmer David Vaux said funds raised will be split equally between community libraries across Australia and The LBW Trust's overseas education programs.

Batting for Change encourages everyone to gather outdoors and enjoy a fun afternoon of cricket together.

The LBW Trust chairman and Yerong Creek farmer David Vaux said funds raised will be split equally between community libraries across Australia and The LBW Trust's overseas education programs.

Batting for Change encourages everyone to gather outdoors and enjoy a fun afternoon of cricket together.

While the official launch date is January 31, anyone can arrange a game during the month of January and it will still be considered part of National Backyard Cricket Day.

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