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Last Man Stands blows new life into cricket

Mar 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Sport

RENEWED SPIRIT: Wellington’s Murphy Sewer team, from left, David Holbrook, Cole Leary, Babrak Rasool, Casey Greive, Darren Ward, Phil Callaghan, Josh Hyde.

TIME-POOR cricketers from all ages are being lured back into the game by Last Man Stands, the latest version of their favourite sport.

Last Man Stands (LMS) is a fast spreading amateur form of twenty20 cricket played by eight-person teams.

Globally, there are about 1000 teams and around 20,000 players from six different countries taking part in leagues that were started in England in 2005.

The game has proved popular among cricketers due to its fast-paced two-hour matches instead of the long Saturday cricket games, and the fact that all players and teams are ranked against each other.

The leagues are targeted at people who do not have time to play club cricket, says New Zealand LMS director Ross Cawood.

He says this new format of cricket attracts players from 18 to 40 years old, and the interaction between old and young players is beneficial.

“Older [players] have more experience, but younger are more versatile.”

Phil Callaghan (30), a member of Wellington’s Murphy Sewer team, says LMS renewed his passion for the game and brought him back to the pitch after 13 years.

“It has been very addictive,” he says. “It even brought me into Saturday cricket again. I got a passion like a 14-year-old.”

He says this version of the game is quicker than twenty20 and facing young players is not easy.

“We are facing some pretty decent cricketers, especially some of the younger kids, some of the 18 to 20-years-olds, very quick.

“If you love cricket and if you played cricket as a kid, definitely go out and give it a go. It will renew your love for the game.”

Josh Hyde (18), who plays for the same team, says his love of cricket made him try the new form of the game.

This is his first season in LMS league, he says being involved in an early age is an advantage.

“Being young is certainly a plus, because I still have a long time to adapt to this short form of the game.

“It’s fun to be out there playing with older players, who can share their experience and give some tips.”

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is a Whitireia journalism student. He is a Jordanian who is studying in New Zealand.
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