HOWZAT: Carnival cricketer reaches out to Aussie captain
NOBODY is disputing it's a long shot, but one former Warwick man is daring to dream.
For the past three years, around this time, Josh Nolan has sent a tweet to Australian cricket captain Steve Smith, with a casual invitation to join the boys from Jonesy's XI at Warwick's annual Australia Day Cricket Carnival.
The light-hearted tweet has, as yet, gone unanswered by the best bat since Bradman, but Mr Nolan hasn't given up hope.
"He hasn't responded to any of my tweets, but there's always hope," he said.
"The main reason we're targeting him is because Jonesy's XI has a bit of an aging roster, you know players like Andrew Sullivan and Ben Brownlie don't offer too much in the way of fielding these days, so it'd be nice to have a gun out there."
Mr Nolan said the cricket carnival was his favourite weekend of the year.
"It's a great chance to see a bunch of blokes I really only get to see once a year and a good excuse to have some fun," he said.
"Smithy would love it.
"We have our traditional hydration on hand at all times, which is a 20L drum of Vodka and Tang - also a hit with opposing teams.
"There's the team polo shirt, which is a collectors item and we never know until the event what colour we'll be rocking this year."
The invitation to the Australian captain started out as a bit of light-hearted fun.
"We were sitting around watching the cricket and some said, 'imagine if we could get one of these blokes to play and it went from there.'," Mr Nolan said.
"Imagine how much damage they'd do."
Mr Nolan appealed to Mr Smith to consider the benefits of joining Jonesy's XI for the long weekend.
"Well there's no curfew for a start and morning beers are recommended," he said.
"It's a three day carnival again this year and it'll be hot so it's important to stay hydrated.
"There's a heap of games to play, but standard of cricket is a bit average, we've got a couple of good players, Garth Miller, Tim Sutton and a few others, that might be able to give Smudge a few tips of T20 cricket Warwick style - how to counter the Slade Park pitch and whatnot.
"I think he'd love it, short boundaries, on some grounds he'd block it for four, so there's plenty of good value for shots - a good chance to keep that average on the up.
"We also have a professional scorer, Tim Doyle, who travels with the squad, so there's no problems turning threes into fours."
Mr Nolan had one more thing for the Australian cricket captain.
"So Smithy - if you're reading this, we'll be having our team meeting at the Warwick RSL on the Thursday night before as is tradition," he said.
"There you'll get to meet the team, have a beer, try on your shirt and find out where and when we're playing on Friday.
"But it's an early start so no heading to the Horse and Jockey to kick on, maybe.
"Tweet me back at @joshuan23."
The 2018 Warwick Australia Day Cricket Carnival will see more than 30 teams compete for a first prize of $3000, across two levels of competition spanning three days from Friday, January 26 to Sunday, January 28.