Cricket and rugby stars to turn out for Slog Sweep

Palmerston North Boys’ High School has tapped into its impressive sporting old boys network for a festival cricket game between stars from two different codes.

The school and Manawatū Cricket Association is holding “Slog Sweep”, a twenty20 game at Fitzherbert Park between former students of rugby and cricket fame on Friday, November 25.

Big names of both codes, who have lengthy achievements inside and outside of school, have been recruited as players or support roles, with many having played for Manawatū or above, up to New Zealand level.

Players include Ross Taylor, Mathew Sinclair, Jamie How, Adam Milne, Kurt Baker, Ruben Love and Craig Clare.

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Ruben Love, now a Hurricanes rugby player, plays for the New Zealand Māori schools team in 2019.

MARTY MELVILLE/PHOTOSPORT

Ruben Love, now a Hurricanes rugby player, plays for the New Zealand Māori schools team in 2019.

Organizer Rachel Wenham said the event started small and had got bigger and bigger.

They got the idea from watching the Black Clash, a festival match between former New Zealand professional cricket and rugby players.

“I came back and said ‘why can’t we do this?’”

The organizers tried to pick people who had finished playing but were still prominent, although there were some active players.

“We started off with a huge list and thought who can we get. Some of them are players who have played cricket and rugby.”

Boys’ High’s Stuart Leighton had been contacting the players, but wouldn’t call himself a selector as “the guys basically picked themselves”.

Italian rugby international and former Palmerston North Boys' High School student Dean Budd is in the rugby team.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Italian rugby international and former Palmerston North Boys’ High School student Dean Budd is in the rugby team.

“The term Slog Sweep, it’s Ross Taylor’s signature shot. Part of that is to recognize his career, 450 appearances for New Zealand.”

Former Boys’ High teacher and former Manawatū player Alec Astle will coach the cricket team, while the rugby team will be coached by former rector Dave Syms.

Scoring will be done by CD scorer Duncan Mitchell and Len Osborne, with Chad Law and Nigel Brooke the umpires.

School rector David Bovey, a former Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū rep, will play for the cricket team.

Freestyle motocross star Levi Sherwood will be doing halftime entertainment, jumping his bike over some concrete trucks.

Hamish McKay will emcee the event and later hold a question-and-answer session with players, and Mark Stafford will do his SENZ radio show from the ground.

Jamie How is one of the former New Zealand players in the Slog team.

Alden Williams/Stuff

Jamie How is one of the former New Zealand players in the Slog team.

The rugby team will wear a strip similar to the school’s blue-and-white-hooped rugby jersey for teams below the first XV, and the cricket team will wear a strip that resembles a Manawatū cricket shirt.

Others who were unavailable are former Black Caps all-rounder Jacob Oram, Black Sticks hockey player Nick Wilson, former New Zealand batsman George Worker, former CD wicketkeeper Bevan Griggs, sports boss Bart Campbell and Hawke’s Bay rugby coach Josh Syms, while New Zealand sevens player Kurt Baker was to be confirmed.

Tickets for the corporate area have already sold out, but the event is open to the public and tickets are on sale.

Team Slog (cricket): Ross Taylor, Mathew Sinclair, Jamie How, Dane Cleaver, Adam Milne, Dave Meiring, Robbie Laird, Dave Fulton, Paul Gibbs, Ian Sandbrook, Andrew Murley, Matthew Goodson, David Bovey.

Team Sweep (Rugby): Craig Clare, Mark Gunning, Brett Davis, Tony Falloon, Roald Badenhorst, Andre Taylor, Dean Budd, Ruben Love, Tim Richards, Scott Larsen, Jarred Cunningham, Bryce Grant.

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