Dutch visitors Alle and Thom joined in with the Rusty cricketers for some healthy cultural exchange last week.

A visiting Wangaratta girl “pads up” for a game of cricket at Loch.

It started off just like any other Monday night in the nets for Loch’s Rusty Cricketers.
Barry Ingwersen was on the phone when we arrived, so we ventured over to a caravan (later referred to as Wangaratta man) parked at the Loch Reserve. We regularly invite visitors to join in, and while this family seemed reluctant starters, but before a ball was bowled they were borrowing our pads.
The same invitation was delivered to four campers from the Netherlands. They cancelled their evening drinks to participate.
The enthusiasm and energy from the Dutch was infectious. They had never known the challenge of batting or bowling, or this thing called “the spirit of the game”. The Dutch were up for the challenge. And our Rusty cricketers made perfect tutors.
Rusty cricket was not designed to entertain Loch’s visitors, but the simple fun that everyone had in the nets that particular Monday night was special. Maybe it was Christmas in cricket wrapping.
Plenty of encouragement, plenty of banter, plenty of action, a wayward ball goes in the Allsop, quickly retrieved by the errant (Dutch) bowler, Wangaratta man proves to be a better cricketer than he had led us to believe, we bring out the camera to catch the moment and the “spirit of the night”.
We present cricket balls to Wangaratta man and Alle the leader of the Dutch foursome. Then, as if there was no end to all this goodwill, Wangaratta lady produces a chocolate sponge cake for all to share. It was Merry Christmas and good cricket from first ball to stumps.