Cricket Match Honouring ANZACS Scores Big

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RSL Queensland
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An annual cricket match that pays tribute to the ANZAC spirit has been named Community Event of the Year in Brisbane City Council’s Australia Day Awards. The Shell Green T20 Cricket Match, organised by Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub Branch, has been held in the leafy outer Brisbane suburb of Brookfield since 2012.

The award praised the match for being “a unique community event that offers an alternative for the celebration of ANZAC Day, but also helps recreate a great historical event 

Formal pre-match ANZAC Day commemorations at Brookfield Showgrounds.Formal pre-match ANZAC Day commemorations at Brookfield Showgrounds.

and its ties to the local community”. The event re-enacts the infamous Shell Green Cricket Match, where members of the Australian Army participated in a cricket match at Gallipoli as a diversionary tactic to assist the safe withdrawal of troops.

The free event sees the Army Service Cricketers take on the Lord Mayor’s Cricketers, a group comprised of men and women from various Queensland teams.The organising committee strives to include as many historical elements as possible and educate the community about Australia’ssignificant contribution at Gallipoli. This includes acknowledging the showgrounds as the mustering point for horses going to war, recognising the contribution of the Sri Lankan community (Sri Lankans served as guards for the ANZAC headquarters at Gallipoli) and creating a display at the Brookfield Museum.

Numerous community groups participate in the event – a testament to its broad appeal. They include local college boys, Girl Guides, Riding for the Disabled, the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, Brookfield Show Society, Brookfield Cricket Club, Kenmore-Moggill RSL and the local Sri Lankan community.


History of The Shell Green T20 Cricket Match

The ANZAC Day Shell Green Shield was the brainchild of Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub Branch member Rick Maher, fellow member Rod Thompson – also a member of the Australian Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Veterans Association (APPVA) – and Mike Kay, in collaboration with Brookfield Cricket Club.

The match was conceived as an alternate way to celebrate ANZAC Day and provide a family-friendly and inclusive forum for veterans and their families to pay their respects. The first match was played at Brookfield Showgrounds in 2012.

The match – which resulted in a tie – was played between then Australian Army XI and the Brookfield XI, which included Jodie Fields (former Australian Women’s Cricket captain) and Brett Henshell (former Queensland Sheffield Shield player).

Early matches were run by the APPVA to fundraise for the Peacekeeping Memorial in Canberra and five volunteers helped raise $500 toward the memorial. The match quickly grew into a major event and expanded beyond the capabilities of APPVA.

President Trevor Dixon offered the support of Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub Branch and, together with assistance from Rick Maher and many local community organisations, the match has become a major event on the Brisbane ANZAC Day calendar.

The day is now supported by Brisbane City Council, with competing teams drawn from the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s XI, including men and women from Queensland Cricket and local cricketers, and the Australian Army XI, which includes several female Army cricketers. The match is also supported by Army Cricket and 7th Brigade.

The day is always poignant. The Last Post is played and one minute’s silence is observed to commemorate ANZAC Day. Local boy Corporal Matthew Hopkins, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, is also remembered during the event. Matthew grew up in the Kenmore Brookfield area and attended Kenmore State High School.

Each year, the Matthew Hopkins Player of the Match Award is presented in honour of Matthew to the best on field by a member of his family.

Attend the 2018 Shell Green T20 Cricket Match

Date: April 25, 2018
Time: 10:30am
Location: Brookfield Oval, 550 Brookfield Road, Brookfield
More information: Contact Rick Haher via shellgreencricket@gmail.com