The inaugural MCG Invitational, featuring heavy hitters from the worlds of golf and cricket promises to draw crowds to a new free community event during the New Zealand Open.
The match will be a ‘first’ for the prestigious New Zealand Open, pitching a New Zealand Open XI against a Queenstown All Stars XI at the Millbrook Cricket Ground on Monday February 25.
The legend that is former cricket captain Sir Ian Botham, widely regarded as one of the greatest cricket players in history, will coach the New Zealand Open XI team.
Former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming will reprise his role as the country’s most successful captain by leading the New Zealand Open XI. He will be joined by former Blackcaps captain Brendon McCullum, fresh off his final Big Bash season.
Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting, renowned as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, will play alongside his former Kiwi rivals. They also include ‘Double All Black’ Jeff Wilson, as handy with a rugby ball as he is with a cricket bat and undoubtedly a great crowd pleaser.
Swapping speed behind the wheel for a hit out with some of the best in the business, New Zealand rally driver Hayden Paddon will be joined on the team by renowned Indian golfer Shiv Kapur who will play in the New Zealand Open for the first time. Also named to play is golf pro Matt Guyatt, a former winner on the Australasian PGA Tour.
The remainder of the New Zealand Open XI will be announced next week.
The Queenstown All-Stars XI will be a team selected from the Queenstown 20/20 League including a leading player from each of the seven sides in the league.
New Zealand Open Tournament Director Michael Glading encouraged local families and sports fans to come along with the kids and a picnic for the free event which will start at 4:30pm on Monday February 25. The match will be ten overs per side and is expected to last about two hours.
“It promises to be a great fun event and we appreciate the support of the Queenstown Cricket Club,” said Mr Glading.
“It’s a stellar line up of international cricket and golfing greats and we encourage you to come along, bring a picnic and make a great afternoon out of it.”