THE Australian Test cricket team could learn a thing or two about good behaviour on the pitch from a couple of local schools.
In a recent knockout competition, the students from Muswellbrook Public School (MPS) and Muswellbrook South Public School (MSPS) went above and beyond to ensure the showdown was played in the right spirit.
And, the efforts of the youngsters have been praised on social media, too.
“The sportsmanship displayed in this game between both schools was outstanding,” Muswellbrook South PDHPE teacher James Adams said.
“Nine of our 11 boys had never played a competitive match of cricket before in their lives.
“Our opponents, Muswellbrook Public, boast youngsters who take the field every weekend.
“But, what occurred on the day was unbelievable.
“We turned up with only the school cricket gear, as not one of the boys owned a full kit themselves.
“MSPS batted first and lost a wicket without any runs on the board.
“However, every time a batsman was dismissed, each player on the MPS team shook their hand – and congratulated him on his efforts.
“Even when a run was scored, a similar thing happened.
“The MPS reps would acknowledge the MSPS boys.
“The morals and ethics within the match were out of this world.
“And, for this to be occurring at a local primary school cricket match was astounding.”
Muswellbrook South’s charge ended on 43 runs, 32 of which were sundries.
Muswellbrook Public made light work of the total and won the encounter by 10 wickets.
But, that didn’t take away from the camaraderie on show.
“Even after the result, both teams were full of smiles and joy of participating in the match,” Mr Adams said.
“In fact, members of the MSPS side have been asking when the next game will be played, on a daily basis.
“The focus on playing the sport and students’ personal achievements, instead of the outcome, is what was so remarkable to see.
“It’s in contrast to what’s occurring in the media surrounding our national cricketers who seem to do all but everything to win a match; rather than play within the rules and ethics of the sport.
“What the young boys did was a breath of fresh air – and that there is hope for the future of cricket.
“It was fantastic to be a part of.”
Some of the Facebook posts included:
“MSPS boys cricket team played in the first round of the PSSA Cricket competition today. Although being defeated by a very experienced Muswellbrook Public team, the boys all need to be congratulated for putting their hands up and having a go. Both teams displayed great sportsmanship and we wish MPS the very best in the next rounds.”
“Muswellbrook Public were seriously awesome, what an amazing show of sportsmanship it was so great to see from these young men. They helped ours boys with little tips and gave them a pat on the back when needed. Their parents should be so proud. Muswellbrook South also did their best and had a great time. Proud of them and thanks to Mr Adams for letting the boys have a chance to play.”
“Couldn’t agree more. Thank you to both teams for a great display of how a game of cricket should be played. Both schools and all parents/families should be proud of these boys. Good luck to MPS in future rounds.”
Cricket wasn’t the only sport that experienced such respect from rival sides in the past week.
The same two schools, Muswellbrook South and Muswellbrook Public, also met on the netball courts.
Even with another big, one-sided scoreline, a great exhibition of mutual admiration came to the fore, too.
“Nine MSPS girls travelled across town to Karoola Park to face MPS in what turned out to be a spectacular display of determination, resilience and sportsmanship from both schools,” MSPS teacher Sarah Watson said.
“MSPS had what can only be described as a very successful loss.
“Although we have been knocked out of the PSSA rounds by a skilled and experienced team, South was represented by netballers who played the game as though they were winning right up until the end.
“Our MSPS students should be commended for the way they conducted themselves and improvement in their teamwork and skill was evident as the game progressed.
“It will be a pleasure to take the team to the NSW Schools Cup at Singleton’s Rose Point Park in Term 2.
“A big thank you goes out to Muswellbrook High School, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Muswellbrook Public and the parents of the side.”