The Hills Tigers have had strong representation in the Australian masters indoor cricket team with three players selected.
Stephen Simons, Michael Goeke and Jason Hardy all made the team after playing their part in the NSW team’s win at the 2017 Australian Indoor Masters Championships last month.
For Hardy, it was a shock as he was selected for Australia for the first time.
“It was unexpected, I’ve been playing for a long time,” he said.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen. I’d never even thought about it. It still hasn’t sunk in.”
Similarly, Simons said it was a bonus as the entire NSW team was focused on winning the national championships.
He grew up in Blacktown and played all of his cricket in the area.
Simons, who previously played for Australia in the 2009 Indoor Cricket World Cup, said it was an honour.
“We played all week in the championship and it was great to top it off the week with selection for the Australian Masters team,” he said.
“It was a great honour to make the Aussie side and I’m looking forward to the week in October.”
The trio play for the Seven Hills-based Tigers and have played for “a long time” – around 30 years - and it’s the first time all three have been selected together.
All three of them play in the Tigers’ masters team in the Big Blast Indoors competition with Goeke also in the club’s National Indoor Cricket League (NICL) side.
The NICL was launched this season by Cricket Australia with 75 teams across 10 divisions, all vying for a national championship with $50,000 in prizemoney up for grabs.
Goeke was captain of the NSW side and said representing the state meant more to him, especially getting to beat Queensland at the state championships.
“We hadn’t beaten Queensland in four years,” he said.
“We didn’t beat them during the tournament and we smashed them in the finals.”
The players will play five test matches at the 2017 Trans-Tasman Masters in New Zealand in October.