MATTHEW Hayden, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist - some of the greatest cricketers the nation has ever produced have been born and raised in country areas.
Whether your natural talent is developed in Melbourne or Muswellbrook, it doesn't matter, as long as the ability is there.
That's the message being pushed by Cricket NSW, who has recently been deploying Big Bash stars to rural locations in an attempt to inspire more youngsters of joining and persisting with the sport.
On Wednesday afternoon, at Volunteer Park, it was our local kids' chance to meet and greet the professionals, as Harry Conway and Jack Edwards rolled into town.
The Sydney Sixers duo spoke about their reason for the visit, and the importance of promoting junior cricket in areas such as the Upper Hunter.
"We're just raising a bit more awareness of the opportunities that are out here and getting kids to sign up for local cricket clubs," Edwards said.
"And, also, just to have a bit of fun as well and play some cricket.
"In the metropolitan areas it's a bit easier to market and attract attention to the game, but in recent times we've certainly become aware of how important grassroots cricket is," added Conway.
The latter, who is a fast bowler who has represented Australia at under-19 level in the past, also acknowledged how different things can be outside of the city.
"There are pauses out there on the field and we know that regional areas love it just as much as we do," he said.
"But, it's a lot tougher and families can struggle to get their kids out there and play the game."
All-rounder Edwards, who quickly become a fan favourite due to his playing style and long, blonde hair last season, said he's enjoyed getting out to meet cricket enthusiasts from around the state.
"It's been really good fun so far," he admitted.
"We've gone to a few similar kind of afternoons as well as a few Q and As, we've had some weird and wacky questions but also some kids that are really fascinated to learn."
The smiles plastered across the faces of the youngsters in attendance made it clear the professionals were more than welcome and, hopefully, it will help nourish some talent already within the town.
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