YOUNGSTERS in Muswellbrook are being urged to get involved with cricket following a drop in player numbers in recent times.
The nation’s favourite summer sport has slumped in popularity in the region in the under-10, under-12 and under-16 age groups.
And, while senior representation is solid, the future of the club and the sport in Muswellbrook is in trouble.
Muswellbrook Junior Cricket Club president Peter Cooper paints a heartbreaking picture of the current state of affairs.
“It’s got to the point where if we don’t start to get some more numbers come through, we’re going to struggle to fill grades next year in the juniors,” he said.
He urged people to sign up and emphasised the adaptability of the activity for children and parents.
“It’s (cricket) a great sport,” he said.
“It’s Australia’s number one sport but there’s a bit of a misconception out there with parents that it’s an all-day sport, which is probably one of the reasons we don’t get as many kids.
“It’s a wham-bam game now; it’s all over in a few hours.
“You’re back home before lunch – and we’re very flexible.
“If parents are working shift work or can only bring their kids every second week we’ve got no problems accommodating things like that.
“I just want to see as many children as I can find, here in Muswellbrook, to play.”
Thirteen-year-old Andrew Cooper was captain of his side last year – and said he loves playing cricket for a variety of reasons.
“I like meeting new people every season, as well as getting to play with them and getting to know them better,” he said.
“It’s a good sport.
“I’ve played it for many years and I enjoy it.
“And, I think everyone else will, too.”
Peter is encouraging anyone with an interest to jump on board, adding there is opportunities for kids to travel with the representative side if they make it, which is an amazing experience.
It’s not too late to sign up with the first games being played over the weekend of October 19 and 20.
Registration can be done via playcricket.com.au or contacting the club through searching Muswellbrook Junior Cricket on Facebook.