I played my first LMS game 6 years ago and soon after became part of the LMS Franchise Family running Last Man Stands Beaudesert in Australia.
Following a bucket list trip to Delhi this year to take part in the inaugural LMS India Super Series, I’ve been reflecting on the insights I’ve gained on this surprising and unique journey so far.
Trust Your Dates with Destiny
I started as an LMS Player in Ipswich for the Swamp Donkeys in January 2017 and never envisaged that going to have a hit in the nets with my son and a few of his mates one Saturday afternoon would turn into what it has. I turned up the following Sunday after not playing competitive cricket for more than 10 years and straight away was hooked, making a 50 in my first innings, I was on top of the world.
Playing in the Ipswich competition for the first 2 and a half years, I loved the concept of Last Man Stands and I could see the potential of starting a Franchise in a small, but growing pocket of South-East Queensland. Beaudesert LMS is wedged between the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Ipswich, but the future is bright with 3 major housing developments in the pipeline my son and I decided we would enquire into starting our own league. After developing our plan, I sent through a Franchise request to the Global Team and within 6 weeks we had the go ahead to start our own League.
Swamp Donkeys 2019
Planting the Acorn, Growing the Oak
Starting a competition from a blank canvas had its challenges, but with the help of my son Cameron, 12 weeks after we signed the franchise agreement, we played our first matches. Day 1 was tough…very tough as we had only 3 teams signed up. Thankfully a phone call on the Sunday Night found our 4th team and we were had a small competition in Season 1. We pushed on and with the help of Jimboomba Cricket Club who were hired the facilities from we made it through our first season with Hit & Run crowned our inaugural winners.
The next 3 short seasons came and went with the same teams give or take an extra one or two, but then in late March 2020…Covid brought everything to a halt…we were very lucky in Queensland that our leagues only stopped playing for 10 weeks, returning in June 2022, coming out of Covid we had an explosion of numbers, somehow our 6 teams suddenly became 16 teams and here we were scrambling for extra venues. It seems the lockdowns made everyone want to get back out and enjoy the outdoors. This dire situation became a turning point and we have been consistent on 16-18 teams in 3 divisions since this time.
Matt & Beauty Bucheurs 2019
Collaboration and Bringing Your Community on the Journey with You
The thing that I did when starting LMS Beaudesert that proved to be worthwhile in a new competition, I actively engaged with all our local clubs, I got into my car on a couple of Saturdays with printed flyers in hand and toured the local area handing out information on the new cricket league in town to players and club officials. At the start there certainly was some resistance, but now I believe this has also led to the stability of the competition. We work alongside our clubs and the local association and have a relationship with them. All our venues are hired from cricket clubs playing in the local competition, and they are all well maintained, and our players enjoy being able to play on venues that have been prepared with pride.
Matt Run Out
Cricket for all Generations
Now into our 5th year, we are playing this current winter season with 16 teams and our 6 team Division One competition is a predominantly turf league playing out of Greenbank Cricket Club. We have also had great success over the last 2 years with younger cricketers being introduced to and playing LMS. At least 2 of our teams have a mixture of teenage boys playing week to week with their fathers and this gives me great pleasure seeing a family orientated Division Three where the older experienced cricketers are teaching the young lads the way to play. We still have one of original teams from Day 1 back in April 2019 playing week to week, Duck Duck Gone created by Scotty Leach are one of our most laid back and enjoyable teams to watch week to week.
Harnessing Local Experience
Another one of our successes is our umpires, 90% of our umpires are players who play every Sunday and then change shirts to umpire, I can say hand on heart that this factor has been critical as the retention level is high and the banter comes thick and fast with limited issues with player dissent. We also have a female umpire (Leith Carroll) who is closing in on 100 matches umpired to go with her more than 100 matches played. One of the stalwarts of LMS Beaudesert, to go with her playing career, she also is the organiser of two teams week to week.
LMS Umpire Leith Carroll
Opportunities Aplenty…& Sharing the Dream with Others
When I started playing LMS, I never thought it would lead to journeys interstate and abroad. Having played in the last 6 Australian / Queensland Championships the time away with teammates has created some memories I will never forget. The highlight being the victory with my beloved Bucheurs over the #1 ranked in Australia and #3 ranked global team of superstars, The Cool Boys at the 2021 Queensland Championships. Our team of mates from Beaudesert ranked in the 100’s globally knocked off one of the big guns and the celebrations went on way into the night.
Bucheurs Winners 2021
Matt’s Team, Beauty Bucheurs Queensland Champs 2020
Matt’s team, Bucheurs & In and Outs, Queensland Champs 2020
The India Super series with the Brisbane Burners was another highlight for me in my LMS journey. In November 2022 I was approached to take on an exciting role as Manager of the Brisbane Burners in the India Super Series. After consulting my wife, who all of 15 seconds later gave the green light, it was off to Delhi in March 2023. We assembled a team of dedicated tourists at short notice and off we went to India. Led by LMS Legend Sam Lang, we gave a good account of ourselves and could’ve/should’ve won one of our pool games against the locals, but it wasn’t to be. One of the stipulations of the Super Series involved a young and upcoming cricketer being involved…and gee didn’t he make the highlights, Zac Dale hit the quickest half century of the tournament, his 51 from 19 came from nowhere, but surprised no one in our team who knew the potential of Zac. The tour of the Taj Mahal was the highlight of our 7 days on the sub-continent from a personal perspective.
Brisbane Burners win Spirit of Cricket Award
Brisbane Burners, India Super Series, Delhi, 2023
Brisbane Burners at Taj Mahal during LMS India Super Series
Goes Hand in Hand with Charity and Other Great Causes
One thing that I have also tried is to engage with the community in raising funds for charities and/or items of value. Over the last 5 years we have fundraised for a lifesaving defibrillation device for one of our host clubs, we have been involved in raising funds for one of our players to start up a Heart Health charity. Danny Muller suffered a heart attack about 18 months ago and he has now started a charity that plans on purchasing the necessary equipment that will be able to conduct onsite heart health testing. We have also raised funds for Mental Health awareness via Black Dog Institute.
Community Camaraderie is a Big Draw and Pleasure
Here I am now, some 6 years later and I can’t imagine my Sunday’s without LMS. I have made friends for life, and I know that is the same for many of the players that play every Sunday in Last Man Stands Beaudesert and Jimboomba. I call it a community instead of a business because I enjoy the camaraderie that we have created in the League.
Matt Turbill with Brisbane Burners’ Clint Ratatagia
Next stop…Cape Town in December…The Bucheurs of Beaudesert have assembled a team of keen tourists and are headed to the World Championships in South Africa in late 2023. I can guarantee that our uniform will be a highly sought after item...