Several Bulls and a Bronco of a different kind will take centre stage at next month’s Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo as some of the State’s greatest cricket and rugby league stars turn out for a cricket match with a difference.
Five former international cricketers – including the likes of Andrew Symonds and Michael Kasprowicz – and ex-league star Steve Renouf are among the Queensland Rail Bulls Masters greats heading to the The Isa for an exhibition match in the main rodeo arena on Saturday, August 10.
Former Australia one-day international representative and Queensland captain Jimmy Maher said the game would provide rodeo fans with a unique opportunity to see some of the state’s sporting greats in action.
“I have played on some of the world’s great cricket grounds, but I can honestly say I have never played on anything resembling a rodeo arena in my life,” said Maher, Queensland Rail Bulls Masters Managing Director.
“We will literally be rolling out a pitch in the middle of the arena and hopefully we will be sending plenty of balls in to the stands for the crowd to catch. Any balls they catch in the stands they get to keep.
“Blokes like Symo (Andrew Symonds) and Graeme Hick never had any worries clearing the fence at international level, so hopefully they can pepper the fans with some big hits throughout the match.
“We’ve also got league legend Steve Renouf coming out with us. He spent plenty of time around Broncos in a footy sense during his career, but I don’t think you’ll be seeing him or any of us getting up to any bareback riding. They’re pretty tough the Cowboys who come out to The Isa so I think we will just stick to what we know.”
The Queensland Rail Bulls Masters visited the Mount Isa Rodeo two years ago and raised around $1,500 for a local pre-school. This is the first time the team will play a match in the city, though.
Maher said as well as the game, this year’s visit will include school visits, cricket clinics, as well as a hospital visit.
“The idea behind the Queensland Rail Bulls Masters is that we have former sporting greats who try to encourage kids across regional Queensland to get involved in sport, and we also raise funds for charity groups in the centres we visit,” Maher said.
“You look at the great talent to come out of this area like Greg Norman, Pat Rafter and Scott Prince, among others, and you realise this place is an absolute goldmine for sporting talent. Hopefully our visit can help nurture some of the youngsters in the area, whether their sport is cricket, rugby league or anything else that gets kids running around.
“The Queensland Rail Bulls Masters have raised thousands of dollars for charities and community groups across the state, and we’d love it if the people of Mount Isa and the visitors to the rodeo support us while we’re in the north west.”
Two Mount Isa juniors will have the opportunity to play alongside the Queensland Rail Bulls Masters in the exhibition match, while one spot in the side will be auctioned off with proceeds going to support local cricket.
The Queensland Rail Bulls Masters will also be part of the street parade on Friday night, August 9.
The Queensland Rail Bulls Masters team for the tour features: Jimmy Maher; Graeme Hick, Michael Kasprowicz; Geoff Foley; Ian Healy; Ryan Broad; Joe Dawes; Andrew Symonds; Steve Renouf.
This year’s Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo will be held from August 9 to 11. For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706. To keep up with all the latest news follow us on twitter.com./isarodeo or facebook.com/isarodeo. For accommodation and holiday ideas visit http://www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
For media information and assistance, please contact:
Jimmy Maher, Queensland Rail Bulls Masters
Mob: 0411 534 204
Susan Fuller, Rodeo Media & PR
Ph (07) 3303 9966, Mob: 0411 463 693