Border-Tarawera cricketers become TV stars

The Border-Tarawera Cricket Club is about to make the big-time and go
The Border-Tarawera Cricket Club is about to make the big-time and go "national".

Richie Donovan Snr was a cricket legend.

His record of more than a hundred hundreds speaks for itself.

But for this cricket wannabe, bowling against him as a 15-year-old back on the sunburnt Tarawera "field" was all I needed to know about how good he was.

Great at 60, sadly I can only imagine how good he was in his prime.

I'd also like to call it the Tarawera cricket "oval" but it just doesn't seem quite the right way to describe a burr-infested cricket ground north-west of Toobeah where crows and cows watched through a mesmerising heat shimmer and the soles of Dunlop Vollies turned into melted white "cheese".

Sadly, in general, only old cricketers in south-west Queensland remember him and their tales of his young prodigy, the bush Bradman, Peter Turnbull.

But today's players such as Captain Dom Pender and all-rounder James Rohde of Border-Tarawera are about to become nation-wide media stars.

Tarawera joined Border to become a powerhouse in the Goondiwindi Cricket Association more than 20 years ago joining the likes of Queensland Country representative Anythony "Deadman" McGregor.

Just before Christmas, Cricket Australia sent out a film crew to profile the club.

With them came former Australian Women's Cricket Team captain, Jodie Fielders and current Australian cricketer, Holly Ferling.

And what stars they were!

Top cricketers on field they proved warm, gracious and passionate about the future of women's cricket and cricket in general. Inspirational for the "boys" but even more so to a group of young girl stars of the future who hung on every word.

Border-Tarawera won the right to strut their stuff before millions of cricket fans after applying for a grant from the Grassroots Cricket Fund which has $30 million in the kitty to aid community cricket clubs.

It was hoped the film would be aired during the Test series against New Zealand, hopefully it will be done before the end of the Big Bash. For an example of what you can expect head to Cricket Australia's Facebook (Grassroots Cricket Fund|Yallunda Flat). It's pretty impressive.