Watch for a compelling combination of social and competitive sport as the third Mountain Scene Twenty/20 cricket league launches this Sunday.
And unlike their highly-paid counterparts in the Indian league, these local players perform for free.
“Everyone’s itching to get on the paddock this Sunday,” organiser Ian Paterson says, noting several of the eight teams have even played pre-season games.
Defending champs Central Queenstown Pelicans – the holder of the prestigious Sheehy Cup – should go in as favourites, but Arrowtown flogged them last Friday.
The league’s other prize, the Ian Paterson Challenge Trophy, is put up by the holder every game. Appropriately, holders Jack’s Point Angry Dragons defend it this Sunday against the Pelicans, who introduced the trophy.
Paterson’s also keen to introduce a trophy for the grudge game between Wakatipu and Arrowtown, since they comprise players from the basin’s two premiers rugby teams.
“You’ll find most teams, once they step over the boundary line, there’s a lot of aggression there ‘cos no one likes losing, but as you step back, they’re all shake hands and have-a-beer,” Paterson says.
“There are a lot of guys that want to play cricket but they don’t want to get involved in Saturday stuff which means giving up a full day.”