PORTLAND off-spinner Lyndon Oakley should adopt Bobby Cliff’s reggae lyrics — I don’t like cricket, oh no, I love it — as his personal theme song.
The 58-year-old, who still plays B grade with Portland, is heading to Honolulu for an inaugural over 60s super 9s cricket carnival next month.
Competition rules allow for one player slightly below 60 in each team.
Oakley is the only player based in the south-west to join four Australian teams making the journey to Hawaii for the carnival.
It was an opportunity too good to knock back for Oakley, who plays regularly in over 60s matches in Portland, Hamilton and Mount Gambier each summer, as well as in the Portland Cricket Association competition against significantly- younger opponents.
Oakley’s involvement stems from a lifetime passion for the game and he said age should not end his playing days.
The eldest player on the tour is 73, with former Warrnambool sporting identity Ross Price one of the veterans at 70.
Oakley said the super 9s concept was ideal for those still looking to enjoy the game. The four teams will play six matches each over four days under a 16-over-a-side format.
“It’s meant to be one of the fastest-growing sports,” he said.
But Oakley said the concept was yet to take off in the south-west. While he regularly teamed up with about 20 players in Portland and Hamilton for carnivals, none had been found in Warrnambool.
He hopes interest will spread as more former cricketers become aware of the concept.
“It’s competitive,” he said.
Participants compete within their limits, usually stopping a ball with their foot in the field before under-arming it back to the wicketkeeper or bowler.
“It would be good if Warrnambool could get something going,” he said. “We only need one or two to show interest.”
Organisers hope the carnival in Honolulu grows in future years.
Two Twenty20 fixtures between Australia and Honolulu are scheduled in the middle of the round-robin matches.