AFTER the golf and tennis, Australia had to be the venue for the The Battle for the ABTA Ashes cricket match.

Held at the magnificent Cazaly’s Oval, the floodlit 24-over game was between a select band of ABTA delegates, including Backchat, and a tropical North Queensland team.

If you know much about the recent history of cricket matches between the English and the Aussies, you won’t have to read to the end of this piece to know the result.

But of course, it was the taking part and the excitement of the event that really mattered (you have to say that when you lose).

Sky Divers descended onto the pitch before the start and JMC laid on free beer and wine and a barbecue.

The enigmatic Stuart Hall was the commentator for this challenge and to make sure everyone got a fair game, the rules were changed somewhat.

Each team had 12 people and each batsman was in for four overs, regardless of how many times he was out. However, every time a wicket went down, the batting team was deducted five runs.

The English fielded former Aussie test legend Greg Ritchie to try to balance the sides but, alas, one man cannot win a game on his own.

There’s no need to go in to the precise match score, suffice to say that the Aussies scored over a ton and, with the number of dismissals among the guests, the English scored quite a few less.

But the game was such a success, ABTA has pledged to make the cricket match an annual convention event.

ABTA head of corporate affairs Keith Betton remarked that we might have a chance next year as the venue is Greece and the locals are not well renowned for their cricketing prowess.