Bulls Masters paceman Michael Kasprowicz believes “pride and ego” will ensure his side will not take tomorrow night’s T20 cricket match against a Bundaberg Invitational XI lightly.
The former Queensland and Australian quick said the Bulls Masters players retained their competitive nature that would drive them to do well against the Bundaberg side in the annual clash at Salter Oval.
“Pride and ego always take over, but when you’re 49 years old, and others are even older, things don’t run like they used to,” Michael said.
“But, having said that, everyone’s serious. For me, it still a matter of getting the ball in the right areas because, with pride and ego, no one wants to get belted back over their head.”
The man affectionately known as Kasper throughout a career that brought him 113 Test wickets for Australia and 944 first class dismissals overall, and another 67 wickets for his country in one-day internationals, said opposition teams also ensured the Masters Bulls had to ‘play’ to win.
“There’s nothing ‘play’ about it when you’re out on the field,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for the other team, the young guys coming through and the older guys who’ve been around, to test themselves under lights at Salter Oval.”
Although looking forward to the match, Michael said the most important aspects of the Masters Bulls visit was the financial shot in the arm it provided to the Bundaberg Cricket Association and the encouragement the players could give youngsters at junior coaching clinics and at the game.
“Coming here fulfils the purpose of why we started the Bulls Masters – to take cricket into the regions, get into all parts of Queensland and, hopefully, inspire kids to play cricket,” he said.
“I think, deep down, it’s also to inspire parents and the volunteers to really be a part of it, to keep cricket alive and thriving.”
The regions have long been a stronghold of Queensland cricket and Michael was mindful of the role the Bulls Masters play in helping to maintain that strength.
“I’m from Brisbane but the majority of people I played with for the 19 seasons I played for Queensland, I think more than 75 per cent of the players, were from the bush,” Michael said.
“You see the talent that’s out there and if we can help give them the resources to keep loving cricket, you don’t know where it’s going to take them.”
With Bundaberg Regional Council having signed a three-year deal with the Bulls Masters which will see them return to the region for visits next year and in 2023, Michael said he was keen to add to the Rum City visits he has already enjoyed.
Even a calf strain which prevented him from playing did not keep him away from one past tour, the former international happy to appoint himself as high-performance manager and join in the fun.
The Masters Bulls yesterday participated in a golf day at Coral Cove Resort to raise funds for the Bundaberg Cricket Association.
Some of the squad delivered coaching clinics at seven Bundaberg schools today ahead of the Bulls Masters dinner, another fundraiser for BCA, at the Bundaberg Multiplex Sports and Convention Centre tonight.
Several players will attend junior cricket matches and a coaches’ forum tomorrow before all players gather for the Kids Clinic at Salter Oval from 4.30pm-5.30pm with all youngsters encouraged to attend, following by the game against a Bundaberg Invitational XI at 6.30pm.
Joining the Bulls Masters team for the weekend are former Australian stars Ian Healy, Allan Border, Darren Lehmann, and Carl Rackemann.
The Bulls Masters visit is supported by Bundaberg Regional Council, Bundaberg Toyota, Ulton and Triple M.
The Bulls Masters team: Andrew Symonds, Jimmy Maher, Chris Simpson, Lee Carseldine, Michael Kasprowicz, Gavin Fitness, Adam Dale, Ryan Harris, Luke Feldman, Ken Healy, Nathan Reardon, Charlie Hemphrey.
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