By GREG WHITE
ANY lingering doubt about 20/20 cricket being popular with the fans was blown away on the weekend when 28,000 fans turned out for a game in Brisbane forcing organisers to throw open the gates to the public.
Now, Coffs Harbour will finally get it's own version of the game when the New South Wales cricket legends come to town for a twilight match at BCU International Stadium on Friday, January 19.
The 20/20 match will feature half a dozen former NSW state and test cricketers who will be teaming up with the best young talent from Coffs Harbour and Grafton to play a one-day match limited to 20 overs per side.
District Association president Ken Robinson said while the full team lists are still to be announced, seven former Australian stars - among them a test captain - have already been selected for the event.
"Expect to see Mark Taylor," Robinson said.
"Also Steve Rixon, Michael Slater, Dave Gilbert, Wayne Holdsworth, Greg Matthews and Shane Lee, who have all played NSW Legends games before."
The concept is the brainchild of former NSW opening batsman Steve Small who is taking the series to regional areas with the first match played in Dubbo prior to Christmas.
"Steve chose BCU International Stadium after playing here in the Tooheys Challenge several years ago," Robinson said.
"In addition to the game there will also be cricket prizes, raffles and signed giveaways with all proceeds going to develop new local practice facilities.
"It's great to see the legends here and we really want to thank them for their support of local cricket."
For the 20/20 match up to six former NSW-Australia players will be divided into two sides with the remainder being up-an-comers from Coffs and Grafton, including one female player from each association.
Coffs Harbour Sports Unit manager Ben Payne said the game will last a full evening.
"With the twilight match beginning at 5pm and expected to last about four hours, the flood lights will be switched on around sunset adding to a magnificent atmosphere."
Warren Smith, ex-coach of Michael Slater will be running a free children's clinic in conjunction with the former stars during the afternoon.
Youngsters can be booked in by contacting the Sports Unit on 6648 4950.
Game tickets will be available at the gate priced at $8 (grandstand), $5 adults (outer ground and concession) and $2 all children under 12.