A team featuring legends of golf, rugby and cricket will line up against some of Queenstown’s best cricketers as a curtain-raiser for this year’s 101st New Zealand Open. “This is the second year of the community cricket match and it proved very popular last year,” commented Mandy Cooper from Southern PR.
The free community event will kick off at 4.30pm on February 23 at the Millbrook Cricket Ground near Arrowtown, with families and sports lovers encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere. The tournament has brought in celebrities (aka. tournament ambassadors) since it launched in Queenstown with a pro-am format in 2014. The pro-am format means that professional golfers play alongside paying amateur and celebrities for the first two rounds of the event.
Celebrities are always a great drawcard and while they’re in Queenstown they are happy to take part in other community events like this (the cricket) and do visits to local schools which enhances the event's appeal.
For the first time a handful of young up and coming Wakatipu High School cricketers get to play their heroes in the Queenstown All Stars team. They include former All Black Justin Marshall’s cricket son Lachlan and students Seth Mawhinney, Angus Herron, Gabe White and Jordan Gibbons, alongside six other players from the local T20 league.
Sir Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham, one of the greatest all-rounders in cricket history, and injured local golfer Ben Campbell will be coaches and non-playing captains, while the formidable brothers’ duo Glenn (cricket) and Greg (golf) Turner will umpire. The match will be a T10 format with10 overs a side and is expected to last about two hours, come rain or shine.
The event will be MC’d by local sports personality and radio presenter Craig ‘Ferg’ Ferguson. Rebel Sport will help keep it fun with activations and giveaways on the day. The 101st New Zealand Open will be held at Millbrook Resort and The Hills from February 27 to March 1, 2020.