New league and new team sparking a resurgence for cricket in Muswellbrook

Peter Cooper and Jarrod Watts
Peter Cooper and Jarrod Watts

MORE fun equals more runs, and enjoying cricket leads to enjoying wickets, according to Brooks’ club president Peter Cooper.

The Muswellbrook Cricket Club is set to embark on a new and exciting era, having moved leagues to the Upper Hunter District Cricket Association, and fielding a second team after a boost in numbers.

Cooper, who pitched the idea for the shift, said the sport had been struggling in the region over the past couple of years.

He was also looking for a way to improve its standing in the community.

“Over the past two seasons we saw a huge drop off in junior involvement due to a variety of reasons,” he said.

“So, I pitched the idea during the off season and the received interest has been overwhelming.

“The more young cricketers I can provide cricket for, the better off cricket is in our area.

“We also have the older guys who just love to play cricket and we welcome anyone of any skill level to join us.”

He also thinks the move will give the Brooks more a chance, having experienced troubles in the Singleton competition.

“I think when you are enjoying your sport you naturally become more competitive,” Copper explained.

“For some of the players this season, the change to the Upper Hunter comp will see them playing with or against guys they grew up with in junior level.

“I believe that we will be more evenly-matched to most of the other clubs we will face.”

He said the switch has led to a large increase in numbers, and they also have more flexibility as to which team players want to represent.

“The response has been great, we have quite a few returning players from last season and a number of first-timers,” Copper admitted.

“The structure of the Upper Hunter competition means we don’t have to play players in teams based on skill level, they can just play with mates and enjoy cricket for the game itself.”

There will be a few unique stories for the club this year, too, with a father getting the opportunity to play with his three sons.

On top of that, the Brooks will sport one of the only female cricketers representing their side at senior level in the region, which Cooper was thrilled with.

“Women playing cricket is huge at the moment,” he said.

“The opportunities for young girls to play cricket in Australia is unprecedented.”

He’s excited for the new season to start, and is spreading the sentiment that it’s the dawn of a new era for the Brooks.

“We’re the only senior cricket club still fielding teams in Muswellbrook,” Cooper said.

“We have had to start this season from scratch because we had nothing left after last year.

“It’s going to be a great feeling when it all starts in a few weeks.”