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When Railways helped an Australian Cricket Club

It’s an unspoken Aussie tradition that neighbours return any stray balls back over the fence during backyard cricket or footy games: Mr. Easy.

Queensland Rail
Queensland Rail. (Picture Source: Courier Mail)

As many as dozens of cricket balls found their way back to the field from the rail corridor at Nundah station to the club. Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy said that it all started in the year 2014 when a player informed through Facebook about the balls which got off the pitch, all thanks to some big hitting which led the ball sail all over the ground.

It is nothing short of risk-taking adventure to get the balls from the tracks and therefore the railway staffs decided to return the balls back with a bit of help from the track worker. It helped the cricket club save up on the new balls till the end of the season and giving the batsmen a license of sorts to bang-bang.

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“Rather than the team risking life and limb to retrieve the balls themselves, which would be incredibly dangerous, we were able to arrange for a track worker to access the rail corridor during a scheduled maintenance closure and safely collect and return the lost balls,” Mr Easy said.

A regular favour

“Our crews collecting and returning lost cricket balls to the club has now become a regular favour. It’s an unspoken Aussie tradition that neighbours return any stray balls back over the fence during backyard cricket or footy games. We just hope it’s the Toombul District Cricket Club hitting all the sixes and not the other team.”

Toombul District Cricket Club secretary Andrew ­Oldham said the balls are costly. “Our Premier Grade team plays clubs from across the country, so we invest in the top-of-the-range cricket balls for their games, hoping to hold on to our investments for as long as possible,” said Mr Oldham.

“Unfortunately — or fortunately depending on whose side you’re on — some batsmen hit some pretty impressive sixes, and we end up losing dozens of these balls a year to the train tracks. The costs quickly add up, especially for a self-funded and not-for-profit club like ours.”

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