Chapman to play for national team
MANY a boy grows up dreaming of playing cricket for Australia against the old enemy England. And for Gympie engineer Ross Chapman the dream is about to come true following his selection in the Australian over-60 cricket team.
Chapman, 65, has been selected as an opening batsman in the Australian team to tour England for a three “Test” series next year. His selection follows Queensland’s success at the Australian Over 60s Titles held in Canberra earlier this month.
Queensland won the Division 1 title with the final match against New South Wales proving the decider after both teams had been undefeated to that stage, Chapman said.
Over-60s cricket is played over 40 overs and batsmen have to retire on reaching 35.
Chapman said he opened the batting and scored consistently throughout the championships, 35 retired against South Australia, 35 retired versus NSW, run out for 25 against the ACT and given out leg before wicket for 12 against Victoria “in a bit of a roughie but that’s the way it goes”, he said.
Fellow Queenslanders, former Sheffield Shield players John Bell (wicketkeeper) and Col Cooke (opening bowler), are also in the touring side of 14 which will depart Australia on August 10, returning on August 29 next year.
Chapman, who started his cricket career in Gympie before moving to Brisbane to work and study, has been a stalwart of cricket throughout his life and along with the late Max Walters was the driving force behind the formation of the Gympie Gold XI which plays in the Sunshine Coast competition.
Yesterday he said the Australian selection was a highlight of his cricketing life which has also included selection for Brisbane Metropolitan Colts (under 23) squad which played against the Sheffield Shield side, and playing for South Queensland country against North Queensland.
Chapman also opened the batting for a number of seasons for Norths in the Brisbane A Grade competition where one of his team mates was John Bell.
“I played with Johnnie Bell at Norths for six or seven seasons and it is good to catch up with him against Cooke who played for Valleys,” he said.
The trip to England will be the third Chapman has made in the last three years after touring with a Cricketer’s Club Over 40s Golden Oldies team, and last year going with wife Kelly to the 1st and 2nd Tests of the Ashes.