Cricketers travel far for carnival
HURRICANES Elite players will travel more than 10,000km for a fun weekend at the Supa IGA Warwick Australia Day Weekend Carnival.
The carnival has been played annually for four decades and team numbers are set at a maximum of 30.
David Hallman and James Churches started the Hurricanes team for the 2004 carnival and the side has had three wins in 23 carnival games to date.
Hallman and Ged Dwan will play in their ninth annual carnival tomorrow and Sunday.
After playing in the first eight, Jay Hankinson, who now works at St George, and Paul Kahler, who recently moved to Emerald, will miss this year's event.
But that won't stop players travelling from New South Wales and as far north at Mt Isa.
Brendon Bowling, who lives at Newcastle, will fly in to Brisbane at 6.30am tomorrow and drive straight to Warwick for the carnival before returning to the airport on Sunday after the final Hurricanes game.
"We are hoping for our fourth and fifth wins this year," all-rounder Mark Fowler said.
"We celebrate pretty well when we win.
"It would be great to meet The Cows again; they flogged us in the one game between the two sides."
While the draw for tomorrow's play has been finalised (see Page 14), results will determine the Hurricanes' opponent on Sunday and Hallman hopes it will be Annie's XI.
"We have one win in five games against them," Hallman said.
"Hurricanes won the last clash so we are the current champions."
Brisbane-based player Sam Gill, who almost made a century last year, will return.
There are no current club cricketers in a team which includes only two players who haven't lived in Warwick during part of their lives.
At age 44, Fowler reckons he will wear a helmet this year.
"My reflexes are getting slower," he said.
Wherever he finds a helmet, Fowler vows it will be red, in keeping with the colours of team sponsored by Advanced Metal Products.
The team pads are red for this weekend's carnival.
"I painted them with house paint," Hallman said.
Any team which gives every player a chance to roll their arm over isn't too serious.
"Twenty20 cricket suits us down to the ground," Fowler said.
"Everyone gets a bowl: It is a maximum of two overs a bowler."
Hallman recalls the team's toughest day was before the introduction of Twenty20 games when his side went down by 599 runs at Wheatvale to the Canaga Plus team of regular cricketers from the Western Downs.
"They scored 668 and we made 69," Hallman said.
"We dropped the bloke who made 200 before he scored."
Fowler said Hurricanes were in the game against Canaga Plus until the second over.
"The umpire wouldn't let us put everyone on the fence in the early overs due to fielding restrictions," he said.
Next year, team members will increase the distance travelled as Hallman is preparing to move to Hervey Bay with wife Lauren and children Mark, Alivia and Logan "for a bit of a change".
He has a job in the metal industry and signed to play for the Hervey Bay Seagulls after being one of the Warwick Cowboys most consistent rugby league players for a decade.
"I will be back for the 2013 cricket carnival," he said.
Odds are he will again be the Hurricanes' team organiser. The only question is whether they will take winning form from this weekend into next year's carnival.