Veteran cricketers David Amos and Rick Sampson are packing up the kit bag for a trip across the Nullarbor, bound for the Over 70s National Veteran’s Cricket Championship at Bunbury in Western Australia.
The week-long national championship will feature players and teams from across country including Amos, representing Gunnedah, and Sampson, Quirindi. Both will play in the NSW number two side at the championship.
The north west duo is well-versed in the veteran competition having spent more than a decade competing in tournaments in Australia and abroad.
In 2017, Amos played as part of a touring side to Barbados to compete in the World Golden Oldies Tournament. Their team, the ‘Busted Bushies’ was led by Barry Everingham, and the tour was reportedly one of the best weeks of their lives.
The medium-pace bowler has played the game from an early age and recalled playing local cricket at Narrogin, Western Australia, before moving to Gunnedah where he was involved until the introduction of the club competition’s two-day fixtures.
“This effectively ruled me and many others out due to work or other commitments, so for about 25 years I had only the odd game,” Amos said.
In 2007, he was invited by Ian Percy to play in an annual over 55s game for Gunnedah against Tamworth which he continued participate in for several years.
Since then, the veteran’s format has grown exponentially.
“Veteran’s cricket has expanded enormously in the last decade or so,” Amos said.
“I have played with Tamworth since about 2018, usually having a number of games a season including against Quirindi, New England and several coastal sides, Newcastle and Port Jackson.
“Being involved in veteran’s cricket has meant travelling more, meeting many new ‘old blokes’ with a shared interest.
“Games are usually played in good spirits and are a lot of fun. It is also a good reason to try to maintain some level of physical fitness.”
For Amos, it has also opened the door to representative honours with NSW playing against Queensland (Cooper-Finlay Cup) as well as national championships in Canberra, Penrith, Launceston and soon, Bunbury.
Sampson also had a successful cricket career throughout his schoolboy days.
He played from age eight until he was 20 in the western suburbs of Sydney before taking up golf instead.
Many years later Sampson was “talked into” having a game with Gunnedah veterans against Tamworth in about 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.
“I got the (cricket) bug again and decided to try and play on a more regular basis,” he said.
“I had one game with ‘Tamworth Vets’ and due to high member numbers was advised that I could get a more regular game with the ‘Quirindi Vets’.
The wicket-keeper-batsman has since represented Quirindi Vets at state and national championships, including the ‘State of Origin’ against Queensland for the past 13 years.
Sampson named winning two state titles with Quirindi and two national titles with NSW in the Over 60s level, as among the career highlights.To order photos from this page click here