There are many aspects of cricket that Ross Cooper finds attractive.
There is the game, of course, which has had him entranced since he was a child and has seen him become part of the furniture at the Onerahi Central Cricket Club. Cooper has been there for 28 years, which is irrefutable evidence of his dedication to the sport.
More recently it has been the chance to play club games with his son Mark, aged 14, which has given him a new lease of life at the crease.
But for Cooper the most enduring cricketing attraction is the post-match camaraderie, which he has developed with about as much dedication as his form at the crease. So it will come as no surprise to his mates that Ross Cooper is organising one of the biggest cricket parties in recent history this coming weekend.
Cooper is the chairman of the Onerahi Central 50th jubilee committee and this weekend will host a celebration that involves several days of solid cricket action but will culminate in a formal dinner for 150 people, drinks included.
"It's going to be huge mate," Cooper said. "We sold out of dinner tickets pretty quickly. There's no one single seat left and everyone is looking forward to a big night reminiscing."
Along with the festivities, there will be a serious limited overs cricket game between an Onerahi Invitation team that will include first class cricketers Matthew Bell, James Marshall and Alun Evans and a Whangarei Boys High School Old Boys XI with Joe Yovich, Steven Cunis and Neale Parlane. It is being dubbed Onerahi's Best Ever versus Whangarei Boys High School's Best Ever.
The game will re-enact the Onerahi Central's very first match played against Whangarei Boys High School in 1956 from which Cooper has managed to track down the two rival captains, Bryce McPherson from the club team and his brother who at the time was skipper of the school side, spearheaded by a young pace bowler called Bob Cunis.
"To get all three of those guys back to attend the Jubilee game is awesome. It just shows what a great club we have got here and how the sport draws people together. The two McPhersons will do the toss just like they did way back in 1956," he said.
It is just one of seven cricket games scheduled for the weekend though, one of which Cooper is particularly looking forward to on Friday.
"The father and son game will be a big highlight for me. We have 15 father and son combinations at last count registered for the game so we will see some of the club stalwarts playing alongside their sons.
"I think that is pretty special."