Wakatipu High’s first overseas cricket tour kicks off in two weeks’ time.
A squad of 14 under-16 boys will play seven games in New South Wales, Australia.
That includes four at the NSW Country Cricket carnival in Orange, a Twenty/20 game under lights at Mudgee and games in the Blue Mountains and in Bathurst.
The first overseas team in the carnival’s 20-year history, they’ve been asked to perform their school haka.
Parent Russell Mawhinney, who heads the organising committee, says “we’re definitely going over there to try to win games”.
“We don’t know what the standard of the opposition is going to be like but I just have reason to believe they’ll be pretty damn good.
“We’ve just got to play with the right attitude - get stuck into it on the field and take no prisoners and then afterwards get to know these kids.”
Making it tougher still, Mawhinney’s expecting the kids to play in 30-plus temperatures every day.
“We’ve just got to make sure they manage themselves.
“I think we’ll have drinks breaks every 10 overs and use all our fielders.”
Mawhinney says the tour’s costing about $30,000, and they’d budgeted for each boy to contribute $2000.
But fundraising has gone extremely well “so the kids are getting a pretty cheap trip”.
“The kids are really excited - what we’ve got to do is get cricket on a roll in the school and make this an every-two-years event.’
The squad, who’ll all be billeted, comprises Reece Collin, Angus Herron, Quinn McDonald, Gabe White, Olly Price, Cameron Ryall, Dylan Tall, Daniel Lewis, Xavier Sadler, Baxter Thomas, Seth Mawhinney, Troy Anstiss, Jaxon Collins and Lachie Clark.
Reece, Angus, Quinn and Gabe represented Otago Country at last week’s Otago under-15 tournament.
Collin, Herron and McDonald, meanwhile, were selected to participate in the Otago under-15 development squad.
Mawhinney’s fellow managers/coaches will be parents Ian Collin, Ant White and Craig Anstiss.
“The biggest concern amongst the mothers was who’s going to wash their kids’ undies,” Mawhinney quips.
The tour runs from January 7 till 19. The squad will also take in a Big Bash Twenty/20 game in Sydney on January 16.