BATHURST'S oldest living former test cricketers, Norma Johnston and Brian Booth, will be honoured at the redeveloped Sportsground by having the new sight screens named after them.
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Johnston, 93, and Booth, 89, are two of the four oldest living test cricketers in the country and boast seven and 29 test appearances for Australia respectively.
Booth was a five-time centurion for Australia and finished with a batting average of 42.21 at the top level while Johnston picked up 22 wickets at 20.55.
Their names will now adorn the sight screens at the ground when it opens up for play in the 2023-24 season.
Several Bathurst cricket identities were at the Sportsground on Tuesday morning to check out the progress of the development, along with former Australian test cricketer Trevor Chappell.
Chappell, who has previously played at the venue, said it will be wonderful to not only see the ground realise its full potential but to also see several local identities honoured.
"It looks fantastic with the development that they've done here. While we can't really see what the wicket's like at the moment I'm sure it's going to be a great wicket in time," he said.
"I played out here in a Toohey's Cup game in the early 1980's, and country wickets - particularly in NSW - have been great to play on. They're often great batting and bowling wickets.
"I know out at Hurstville Oval in Sydney, where St George play, their sight screens are named after Bill O'Reilly and Ray Lindwall, so it will be nice to have several of Bathurst's cricket legends honoured in that way as well."
Chappell came to Bathurst after taking up an invitation from local umpire Gary Macauley, after they met each around two decades ago in Sydney.
"I met Gary while coaching out at the King's School in the early 2000s and they had an under 16s tournament in Bathurst, which he was umpiring at," Chappell said.
"I was coaching Gordon Cricket Club in Sydney for five seasons, from 2015, and I saw him out there umpiring again in third grade at Sydney University.
"He was always saying 'Come out to Bathurst, have a look around' and I hadn't been back for many years, so this was a good opportunity to be back here."
Macauley said Booth and Johnston's efforts - not just those on the cricket pitch - are well worth celebrating.
"It's a great thing for Bathurst that in the future we can have representative games here and it's also great to have two of the greatest Bathurst sportspeople recognised at the ground. They were not only great test cricketers but they were also great hockey players," he said.
"Brian played at the 1956 Olympic Games in hockey, while playing 29 times for Australia in cricket and he also captained the team twice. The second of those, at Brisbane, would be Doug Walters' first test match.
"Norma has also been the champion A grade golfer at the Bathurst Golf Club as well. It's great to be able to honour their achievements here."
Tuesday's meeting at the Sportsground saw a great collection of cricket talent come together to share stories.
"We're here today with Trevor Chappell. Four of his family have played test cricket, including three test captains - his two brothers and his grandfather," Macauley said.
"Tim Hector is here too, who played in the 1965 side against the Englishmen. Yours truly was a 14-year-old in the broadcast box."
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