Starts unite for bushfire relief match at Western Park

East All Stars captain Sam Batson (left) and West All Stars captain Fraser Duncan will lead the sides in the charity match.

East All Stars captain Sam Batson (left) and West All Stars captain Fraser Duncan will lead the sides in the charity match.

They may be foes on the field every Saturday, but on February 16 some of the Warragul and District Cricket Association’s best cricketers will unite for a T20 match to raise funds for those affected by the recent bushfires.
Sam Batson, captain coach of Western Park’s division one side, said after speaking with Matt Runnalls about his club helping out the mental health organisation Mindfull Aus, it was decided a bushfire relief game would be played.
“Initially I’d spoken to Matt about Western Park wanting to help out wherever possible with his mental health support organisation Mindfull Aus. When discussing ways in which we could help he mentioned the potential of organising an East vs West All Stars match which I thought was a great idea,” he said.
“As it happened within a couple weeks, we obviously saw and felt the full effect of the bushfire crisis, so what was originally a mental health support match became a bushfire relief match,” he said.
The two teams will be made up of the best Eastern region and best Western region players who will go head to head in the clash to be held at Western Park.
Western Park’s Sam Batson will captain the East All Stars team, while Hallora’s Fraser Duncan will lead the West All Stars.
The East All Stars will be made up of players from Western Park, Buln Buln, Jindivick, Neerim South, Warragul and Yarragon, while the West All Stars will be coming from Drouin, Hallora, Iona, Longwarry, Ellinbank, Garfield-Tynong, Catani and Bunyip.
Batson, who has recently had some premier league T20 experience, said having the privilege to captain the East All Stars was something he was proud of.
“It’s a big honour to captain the East side, we’ve got some absolutely fantastic players playing for us too,” he said.
For many players, including Batson, it’s a chance to play with some of the best in the league, instead of against them which he said he’s looking forward to, especially when it comes to playing with WDCA leading run scorer Gamini Kumara.

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