Ben Watson, Aiden Statham and Matthew Webber in the Australian dressing sheds with Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist
Ben Watson, Aiden Statham and Matthew Webber in the Australian dressing sheds with Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist

A trip they will never forget

By MITCHELL DALE

IT was a trip that three brave young Coffs Coast cricketers ? Ben Watson, Aiden Statham and Matthew Webber ? will never forget.

The boys, who all play in the Coffs Harbour Junior cricket competition despite suffering from serious health problems, spent two days in Sydney over the summer as special guests at the third Test between Australia and Pakistan.

As luck would have it, the morning session of the third day was washed out, meaning the boys got the chance to mingle with the pride of Aussie cricket in the dressing rooms.

"It was a great experience, the boys loved it," Aiden's father, Vaughan Statham, said.

"They got to meet players like Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting, actually all the Australian players took time out to spend with the boys.

"The players signed the boys' bats, they were very good with them.

"We were lucky that it rained because that meant the players could spend plenty of time with the boys."

Gritty Aussie opener Justin Langer proved he has a heart off the field as big as he does on it, taking the boys under his wing.

"Justin was really good, he showed the boys around the dressing rooms and grabbed a couple of the players' baggy green caps and put them on the boys for a photo," Vaughan said.

As well as getting a peak into the inner-sanctum that is the Australian dressing rooms, the trio also had a look behind the scenes at the SCG scoreboard and in the Channel Nine commentary box.

"They met (former Test stars turned commentators) Bill Lawry, Tony Greig, Richie Benaud and Ian Healy," Vaughan said.

"They all signed the boys shirts, including Richie, who apparently doesn't normally sign autographs."

All the boys wish to extend a big thank you to the Coffs Harbour Junior Cricket Association for making the trip possible.



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