It's an odd feeling seeing World Cup winners Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler wander around Whangārei this week.
On the one hand, catching a glimpse of three players, who were instrumental in causing so much heartbreak all the way back in July in the Cricket World Cup final, takes me straight back to my living room, early morning, clutching a couch cushion as Buttler dislodged the stumps and delivered a fatal blow to New Zealand hearts.
It even brought back the pain of trudging into work that morning, suffering under the fatigue of a sleepless night and the embarrassment of having championed a side right to the end, before watching them fall at the final hurdle.
But on the other hand, it's simply extraordinary to have England's best showing their skills at Whangārei's Cobham Oval across two warm-up matches ahead of their test series against the Black Caps.
While the crowds haven't been huge throughout the week, I'm hoping to see a lot more local cricket fans turn out today and tomorrow for the remainder of England's warm-up three-dayer against NZ A.
Under a cloudless sky with the sun shining bright, I would say there is no better sight for Northland cricket fans to see than some of the world's best going at it on the picturesque Cobham Oval.
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However, what the two warm-up games have highlighted is the lack of Northland talent pushing these national representative teams.
Obviously, we have Tim Southee working his magic at the top and we have young batsman Henry Cooper making bucket loads of runs domestically, but it would have been great to see a couple of young Northland cricketers walk onto Cobham Oval with the fern on their chest.
A major obstacle in the way of young cricketers is funding. Cricket gear doesn't come cheap and when you have to travel so often, the fuel bill can be a little tough to take sometimes.
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Nevertheless, there is still hope as Whangārei's Cobham Cricket Club is actively looking for more teams and clubs to support financially in their cricketing dreams.
It was only last week when club president, Vaughan Syers, presented a $500 check to the Kamo Intermediate School girls' cricket team ahead of their trip to the national finals in Christchurch next week.
In the past, the club had focused on supporting individual players who head overseas and further their experience. However, in what I think is a smart move, the club is looking to invest more locally and support Northland teams and clubs with their exploits.
So for any teams or clubs out there that think they have the future of New Zealand cricket up here, get in touch with Cobham Cricket Club on Facebook or by other means to find out how you can apply to get this funding.
You never know, if we give the youth more chances to grow and develop now, we could be seeing them going up against England's best right here at home in five to 10 years.