Almanac (Country) Cricket – Pink Stumps Day at Walbundrie

Walbundrie is signposted as “The Crossroads of the Riverina” ; a quiet rural settlement (pop 190) on the Billabong Creek with a co-op store, a pub and an excellent recreation oval. The facilities and oval are rated as amongst the best in the Eastern Riverina and are used to host the finals of the local Hume Football and Netball League. It has also hosted numerous annual Walbundrie Agricultural Shows but never to my knowledge a sportsman as famous as Glenn McGrath.


The Treasurer of the cricket club, Sue Collins entered a national competion to have Glenn McGrath, ambassador of the McGrath Foundation, bowl an over in their final round match against Henty on Sunday 24th February.


The match was 33 overs-a – side which saw the home team, Walbundrie, compile a competitive 9-164 after batting first.


Lunch was then taken and more raffle tickets were sold. Local businesses had generously donated some great prizes and the snags and steak sandwiches were donated by Stewy from The Culcairn Butchery.


The crowd outside the pavilion swelled to nearly 500. To put it into context that’s well over double the normal population of Walbundrie. Players who would normally play in front of a dozen spectators were being watched by a Sheffield Shield-size crowd. (Actually I may be pumping up interstate cricket a little!). The local MP for the seat of Farrer, Sussan Ley, had even made the 50-minute car trip from Albury.


The ground was cleared of Milo cricketers and the Walbundrie boys took the field with Glenn, still in jeans and RM Williams boots, handed the new ball. The 49-year old has played in 124 Tests and taken 563 wickets. What would he unleash on the poor Henty batsmen?


The first ball was watched closely by the Henty batsman who shouldered arms rather dramatically and watched the ball pass safely into the keeper’s gloves. What an anti-climax!


The bowling action was unmistakable and although his pace was down it appeared that his trademark accuracy was still there. Henty breathed a sigh of relief when the celebrity over was over. McGrath then left the field, to a warm applause, with figures of 0-1 (the single came off a misfield at third slip).


The big fella had still more pink caps to autograph and anything else thrust at him, including the scorebook which will probably be framed and hung for posterity in the clubrooms.  I even had a miniature WSC bat which was signed by Paul Nobes (SA and VIC) and more recently by the former Test Captain Stephen Roger Waugh.  Now it boasts GD McGrath as well.


Henty, fell 10 runs short in the chase, handing victory to the home team. It mattered little.


The event raised $27,000 for the McGrath Foundation.


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  1. We may be in drought in many places across the country, but the grass roots of cricket flourish as events such as this demonstrate. The crowd certainly outnumbered any Shield attendance I’ve witnessed in the past few years! I’m sure that Stewy the Butcher did a roaring trade. Thanks for this record of a significant day in the life of local cricket.

    A question: In view of how much local businesses, etc put in to support a day like this, and given the huge fundraising achieved (as clearly evidenced here), how much actual funding from CA trickles down to local entities/associations for both junior and senior teams?

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