Australian age group cricket will have a distinctly Whanganui/Rangitikei flavour over the coming months.
Four players with strong Whanganui and Marton connections have been selected for over 60 or over 50 duties at separate tournaments.
Marton Saracens premier 2 and Central Districts age group representative Allan Pond crosses the ditch again next month to play for New Zealand at the Australian Over 60s Cricket Festival, where they play against Australian State sides.
This year's tournament is in Canberra from November 19-23. New Zealand is sending an A and a B team to the tournament.
"I'm the only Central Districts player in the New Zealand A team, which will be captained by former Black Cap test player Ewan Chatfield and includes former first class cricketers John Cushen (Otago) and Andrew Nuttall (Canterbury). Former Whanganui cricketer Bruce Hooper-Smith is also one of three Central Districts players in the New Zealand B side," Pond said.
"Also, and perhaps bigger news is that two Whanganui cricketers have just been selected for the inaugural New Zealand Over 50s team to play a three match ODI series against Australia in Nelson, next February.
"Andrew Spence (Marton Saracens) and Marty Pennefather (United) are part of a 14-man squad for this series."
There are also plans to then send a NZ side to the first Over 50s World Cricket Cup tournament in Sydney towards the end of 2018.
Pond was in the Kiwi Over 60s side to compete in last year's Australian age group festival in Perth where they finished down the track.
"We won our first two games, but lost our third which put us out of finals contention. We also lost our fourth consolation match. We hope to avenge those losses this time round," Pond said.