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Kangaroos And Koalas Coming To Isle Of Wight

An influx of Kangaroos, Koalas... and Kiwis will be heading to the Isle of Wight this summer.

But this band of furry animals will be senior cricketers flying in from Down Under to compete with the Island's premier veteran players.

The Kangaroos and Koalas squads of 33 Aussies and three New Zealanders arrive in the UK next week for a 12-game Castles Tour taking in Balmoral, Windsor Castle, Bamburgh and a number of Britain’s most beautiful cricket grounds during their three-week visit.

The veteran cricketers, all over 60, will arrive on the Island on June 18 for two 20-20 games at picturesque Newclose, taking on IW Over 50s XIs.

Derek Braidner, tour manager, said:

“Coming to the Isle of Wight is not just about the cricket — how could we not include it on this unique cricket tour?

“This region of England has played a huge part in our own history and we are very excited about playing at this premier ground and I had no hesitation about including it in our list of magnificent grounds we have been invite to play at.”

Many of the tour party have played a lot of high-class cricket at home.

Derek elaborated:

“We have cricketers from all over Australia, with three Kiwis in the party as well.

“I have been organising tours like this for 15 years, taking Australian vets teams all around the world, from Hawaii to Japan and Jamaica, as well as the UK.”

Huw Griffiths, chair of trustees at Newclose, added:

”The late Brian Gardner, who built this amazing facility, would have been delighted to see it being used for an occasion such as this.”

Entry on the day is free and the  players will meet the Lord lieutenant and High Sheriff from 9.30am.

The itinerary is then:  

1100-1330: 1st T20 match v IW Over 50s captained by Simon Goldsmith.
Break 1330-1400
1400-1730: 2nd T20 match v IW over 50s
1800-2000: Dinner and socialisation

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