Forget Australian XI, send the Springwood Royals

On tour: The Springwood Royals on their Golden Oldies Tournament in South Africa in 2015. They can help Australian selectors out of their woes.
On tour: The Springwood Royals on their Golden Oldies Tournament in South Africa in 2015. They can help Australian selectors out of their woes.

Forget the woes of top level, strike-ridden Australian cricket, the Springwood Royals cricket team has the perfect solution. They’ll handle the Ashes series.

At Newlands Oval in Capetown: The team had a chance to meet with former West Indian cricketer, Joel Garner.

At Newlands Oval in Capetown: The team had a chance to meet with former West Indian cricketer, Joel Garner.

A team of self admitted ageing cricket tragics, Springwood Royals had a cheeky letter published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday, offering that the over-40s team, “are willing and available to take the place of the current Australian XI”. 

“Come November,” Nick Walker of Springwood wrote in the Letters to the Editor page, “we will have returned from our cricket tour of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, hopefully with at least one gold medal.”

Springwood Royals will go: Pictured with their WAGS, also known as the "Bawdy Army".

Springwood Royals will go: Pictured with their WAGS, also known as the "Bawdy Army".

“If we can just recruit Bobby Simpson as captain and Simon Katich to shore up the middle order, all will be well. I believe our combined wages bill will be less than the current captain is paid,” the Springwood man added.

Response has been swift. 

“The reaction was great, with several locals having seen it ( before me) on Thursday. The letter was pinned to the Royals Honour board on Friday in the Royal Hotel,” he added.

With nicknames like Chef, Supermac, Barmy, Bananas, Lobsta and Duffer, he said it was “obvious we do not take ourselves too seriously.”

Mr Walker said he was chosen for the team because of his ability “to still chase the ball in the field, rather than any batting or bowling skills”. But when asked, in all seriousness, how he feels about the strike, he said  “I don’t really have an opinion, I just hope they can sort it out”. 

The Royals have been competing since 2001, playing in various Masters Games and touring internationally. In Scotland in 2010 they played the Ship Inn XI on the sands of Elie Beach in Fife, just near St Andrews.

“It was the first time most players had played on a ground where hazards included piles of seaweed and the odd jellyfish,” tours organiser, Graham Martin, said. “The game was eventually abandoned due to a torrential downpour and the incoming tide.” 

They also toured South Africa in 2015. Training involves monthly strategy sessions at Springwood’s Country Club and ad hoc sessions at the Royal Hotel.

On tour: In 2010 they toured to Scotland and England. In Scotland they played the Ship Inn XI on the sands of Elie Beach in Fife (just near St Andrews).

On tour: In 2010 they toured to Scotland and England. In Scotland they played the Ship Inn XI on the sands of Elie Beach in Fife (just near St Andrews).