Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

GBR Rays Make Grand Final In Inaugural Year

The Great Barrier Reef Rays, the premier cricket team representing Mackay and North Queensland, proudly celebrated a noteworthy weekend at the Century Cricket competition. In the Rays inaugural year, they made it all the way to the grand final, although were not able to come away with the championship. Despite not securing the win in the finale, the team achieved significant milestones and garnered popularity amongst fans.

Century Cricket Group is a privately owned cricket company co-founded by successful healthcare businessman Stuart Giles, Australian cricket great Ian Healy and world-renowned commentator Mark Nicholas, alongside cricket entrepreneurs and founders of the Australian Cricket Institute Nick Fitzpatrick and Joel Hamilton. The competition featured elite players such as NSW captain, Dan Hughes, Nick Larking of the Melbourne Stars, former Australian Fast Bowler Ben Laughlin and a host of other first-class players. The Rays' participation illuminates the vast potential and the promise of cricketing talent from the North.

With 7 players from Mackay and another three hailing from North Queensland there was considerable representation showing their ability at the competition.

A club representative said, “We were honoured to have the dynamism of former Australian Fast Bowler Ben Laughlin, the expertise of Melbourne Star Nick Larkin, and some emerging stars from Brisbane in our team, including the competition's leading run-scorer, Angus Lovell.

“The opportunity to play with these elite professionals was invaluable for our North QLD men.”

Their inclusion offered invaluable experiences for the Northern players, enhancing their exposure and learning.

“While we may not have clinched the win in the final, our Mackay and North QLD team went above and beyond, shattering expectations.

“The Rays have illuminated a genuine pathway for our boys from the North, giving them the chance to showcase their prowess alongside some of the best in the state and across Australia - and boy, did they rise to the occasion.”

The Rays owe a significant part of their success to their dedicated coach, Adam Knezevic. A local legend himself, Knezevic's guidance hints at a bright future for the Rays, cementing its reputation as a developmental pathway for emerging talent.

The Rays played six games over three days against the Gold Coast Waveriders, Northern Brisbane Kings, Southern QLD Rockets, Moreton Bay Magic and Darling Downs Dingos.

The Great Barrier Reef Rays made it to the grand final in their inaugural year playing in the Century Cricket competition

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