Three Queenstowners are representing New Zealand in a veterans’ cricket tournament in Australia this month.
John Cushen, 72, Owie O’Connell, 66, and Hal Shaw, 62, are in the NZ over-60s D grade side who’ll play four Aussie states sides in Geelong, Victoria.
Cushen, who’ll be vice-captain, is also in the NZ over- 0s A team who, from Thursday in Launceston, Tasmania, are also playing four Aussie state sides.
Known as a fiery fast bowler in his heyday with Auckland and Otago, Cushen, having had his right hip replaced in July, describes his current bowling as ‘‘batsman-friendly’’.
‘‘I’ve developed the off-spinner, but I haven’t developed the off-spinner’s mentality.’’
O’Connell, an over-60s NZ B player for a few years, is an opening batsman who can also keep wickets.
Shaw, who’s made NZ honours for the first time, partly on the strength of his fielding, says ‘‘it’s great to get an opportunity late in life’’.
Having never played as a youngster, he calls himself ‘‘a late bloomer’’.
Cushen says over-60s cricket’s taking off in NZ — ‘‘six years ago, I was going to the jail to try and get enough players to play for Otago, and now all the provinces have got two teams’’.
Asked why he’s still playing, he maintains ‘‘it’s a reason to keep fit, but it’s also the camaraderie and love of the game’’.