Highlands residents can look forward to a the return of international cricket next week with the England Over 60s team playing two matches in the area as part of their Australian tour.
Billed as "The Grey Ashes", the first of three one-day internationals between England and Australia will take place at historic Bradman Oval on November 22, a pre-game ceremony commencing at 9.45am with play to begin at 10.15am.
The Internationals are 50 overs a side with game two to be played on the Central Coast and the third game at Redlands, Queensland.
RELATED: A vintage cricket upset
England currently holds the Ashes after defeating Australia 2-1 earlier this year when Australia toured England, a team which included two Highlands players Peter Jensen and Ian Bradburn.
Jensen, fresh from captaining NSW at the Over 60s National Championships in Adelaide has retained his place in the side to be led by former Queensland Sheffield Shield player Mark Gaskell.
The match is proudly supported by the Bradman Museum, Veterans Cricket NSW, Cricket Australia and Veterans Cricket Australia.
Organisers are hoping for a good crowd with good seating and viewing points from around the ground and the nearby Bradman Café offering food and drinks.
Spectators will be pleasantly surprised by the high standard of play at this level.
Gaskell will be joined by another ex-Shield player, Wayne Broad. In recent years Graham Yallop has captained the Over 60s, while the late legendary leg-spinner Bob "Dutchy" Holland was a great participant and promoter of veterans cricket as was Queensland Test bowler Geoff Dymock in the early days.
The tourists will be led by John Foster who had the honour of captaining MCC against Ireland at Lords, while the XI will boast several players who have represented county 2nd XIs and minor counties and played professional league cricket.
The Bradman international will not be the only opportunity to see the England team in action.
A Southern NSW team will take on the tourists on Wednesday 20 November at lovely Chater Oval, Aylmerton on Wednesday 20 November.
The team as listed contains no less than seven Highlands Veterans: Peter Jensen capt, Gary Whitaker, Rod van Beek, Ian BRadburn, Grant Lewis, Rod Watling, Paul Cullen. They will be joined by Port Jackson's Simon Lyon, Peter Rolls and Joe Scarcella, Neville Castle (Western) and David Head (Newcastle).
The Chater Oval game is 45 overs a side and commences at 10am. Refreshments and lunch will be available and everyone is welcome to attend thanks to the generosity of the owners in allowing access from Old South Road.
Highlands Veterans president David Wells is excited about the prospect of hosting the England team over the three days.
"It will be a unique experience, not just for the Highlands players involved in the game, but for the club as a whole.
"We've had excellent local support for both games and the associated activities. Moss Vale Hire has kindly provided toilet facilities for the Chater Oval game, Optimum Experiences has arranged a reception on Wednesday for the visitors at Fitzroy Falls and the Bradman Museum will host a dinner for the tourists after the International match."
"All we hope for now is some fine weather and a good crowd for both games!"
Enquiries can be directed to David Wells (President Southern Highlands Over 60s) on 0402 442 184.