Howzat! Toowoomba plays Australia Day cricket classic in India

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Jason Grivas (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Location(s): Mumbai, India

Topic(s): HMAS Toowoomba (F156), Cricket

Leading Seaman Ric Murray bowls against local club members at the Cricket Club of India during a Twenty Twenty game while the ship visited Mumbai. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Leading Seaman Ric Murray bowls against local club members at the Cricket Club of India during a Twenty Twenty game while the ship visited Mumbai.

En route to Operation MANITOU in the Middle East region, HMAS Toowoomba took advantage of a logistics stop in Mumbai to play a cricket match against the Cricket Club of India (CCI) on Australia Day.

On a hazy morning without a whiff of breeze, CCI won the coin toss and elected to bat.

The home side’s opening batsmen immediately took a long handle to Toowoomba’s bowling attack.

However, Leading Seaman Marine Technician Matthew Lyons struck the first blow for the Australians, taking a catch in the midfield off the bowling of Able Seaman Electronics Technician Blake Rookledge.

Wicketkeeper Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Shane Challis continued the haul, taking several catches behind the wicket. In the end, CCI was all out for 207 runs.

Toowoomba’s opening pair of batsmen, Able Seaman Aviation Technical Avionics Jason Donohue and Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Scott Bradford, put up early resistance before Able Seaman Donohue was given out LBW.

Leading Seaman Lyons steadied the ship, combining with Chief Petty Officer Bradford to spur Toowoomba’s run chase into life.

When Able Seaman Challis came to the wicket, he quickly proved he was as handy with the bat as he was with the gloves.

He hit a string of boundaries that boosted the Toowoomba total and earned him the Man of the Match.

But it wasn’t enough. In the end, Toowoomba fell just short of the Indian total.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Benjamin Jenkins was philosophical about the loss, saying the result wasn’t as important as the opportunity to engage with the home side and reinforce the strong relationship between Australia and India.

“The opportunity to engage with the local cricket team was fantastic, and the spirit in which the game was played was a highlight of our visit to Mumbai,” he said.

Toowoomba left Australia on 13 January 2020 for a six-month deployment on Operation MANITOU.

The deployment marks Australia’s 68th rotation of a maritime asset operating in the Middle East region since 1990. 

Toowoomba is the Australian Defence Force’s contribution to international efforts to promote maritime security in the region.