Cricket: Old warriors return for fresh tilt

The sound of creaking bones and sight of cobwebs being dusted off cricket bats and boots can be expected when the BOPCA Over-35 Twenty20 League makes its entrance on Sunday at 1pm.

Bay of Plenty Cricket's cricket manager, Mark Webb, said the league had been established to lure back former competitive club players. "Many players drift away from the game on retirement from club cricket and it is hoped the new Sunday league will see former players re-establish links with Bay of Plenty clubs."

Five teams have entered, with the name of the Opotiki Optimists likely to sum up the feelings of many of the participants. The Opotiki side will play at home at Waioeka Domain, where a sole Bay of Plenty rep fixture was played against Poverty Bay in 1962.

Rotorua will field a combined team of former players from Rotorua clubs, some of which no longer exist.

Mount Maunganui, Te Puke and Cadets, all long-time Western Bay clubs, have had former members and a few new recruits answer the call.

On Sunday, Cadets host the Rotorua combined team at the Tauranga Domain, while Mount Maunganui's game with Te Puke has been postponed, with Opotiki sitting on the sideline courtesy of the first-round bye.


Round 1, Sunday: Cadets v Rotorua, Tauranga Domain; Mount Maunganui v Te Puke, Blake1 postponed; Opotiki Optimists bye.

Round 2, February 17: Te Puke v Rotorua, Te Puke Domain; Opotiki Optimists v Cadets, Waioeka Domain; Mount Maunganui bye.

Round 3, March 3: Te Puke v Opotiki Optimists, Te Puke Domain; Rotorua v Mount Maunganui, Smallbone Park; Cadets bye.

Round 4, March 17: Opotiki Optimists v Mount Maunganui, Waioeka Domain; Cadets v Te Puke, Tauranga Domain; Rotorua bye.

Round 5, March 24: Rotorua v Opotiki Optimists, Smallbone Park; Mount Maunganui v Cadets, Blake1; Te Puke bye.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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