Karaka commercial composter Roger Wark - also known as Warkie - is swapping his shovel for a cricket bat in the run-up to a Christchurch competition.

The cricket enthusiast and president of local Golden Oldies team, the Karaka Stallions, will be joining around 5000 mature sports players from New Zealand and overseas at the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Celebration next month.

While they're taking the competition down a notch by playing in the social division, the Stallions have an ace up their sleeve and are plotting to send their best batter on the pitch.

"We've got the mayor of Karaka joining us for this game, he's a 73-year-old cricket player and a renowned batsman," Wark said.

"That's because he doesn't bowl - he can't throw the ball."


In fact, Wark said these days batting is preferred over the more rigorous tasks of bowling or manning the outfield.

"We all bat but we don't all bowl and fielding is the hardest thing to do because you're out standing around for 40 overs - but we're taking 15 players because we expect a few breakdowns," he said.

"There's no beers on the field, but after the match we're renowned for our red wine drinking. We're up a notch from the competition."

This year's celebration marks the first time in history multiple Golden Oldies sporting events have been held in the same city and Wark says it's going be a cracker of a party.

"Golden Oldies are always a great opportunity to enjoy a game and catch up with old friends from all over the world," he said.

The Karaka Stallions were looking forward to seeing old trans-Tasman friends and allies, an Australian cricket team hailing from New South Wales called The Gentlemen of Nowra Eleven.

"We played against The Gentlemen at our very first Goldies Oldies festival almost 20 years ago and have been on many a tour together since," Wark said.

"It was a friendship formed on the field and cemented in the bar and we're looking forward to catching up again in Christchurch."