- NRL Great have agreed to play in the all-star T20 match in New Zealand
- Johnathan Thurston is joined by Brian Lara and Richie McCaw, among others
- Match at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval on January 20, likely to sell out
NRL legend Johnathan Thurston has been hand-picked to play in a famous T20 match against cricket icon Brian Lara – in New Zealand.
The four-time Dally M Medal winner, who opened the batting and bowled the first change as a schoolboy in Queensland, will feature in the sixth edition of the T20 Black Clash at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval on January 20.
A sell-out crowd is predicted, with All Blacks great Richie McCaw, decorated Black Caps left-arm orthodox spin bowler Daniel Vettori and two-time Rugby World Cup winner Kieran Read also confirmed as starters in the match, which will see rugby’s biggest cricket stars of the country are present. against each other.
Vettori, who has selected Thurston as a wildcard for his team, has no doubt the Cowboys NRL premiership star will hold his own in another sport in 2015.
“We are happy to have a proven winner like Johnathan on board,” he told the newspaper New Zealand herald.
NRL legend Johnathan Thurston has been picked to play in a famous T20 match against cricket icon Brian Lara – in New Zealand
As a schoolboy in Queensland, Thurston was a talented cricketer, who pioneered the change in batting and bowling
West Indian great Brian Lara will be the star attraction, with the T20 match set to take place at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval on January 20.
“You just know he’s going to produce something special that day… legends like that always do that.”
Thurston can’t wait to meet Lara but doesn’t want to play the bat-pad when the West Indian superstar is about to play.
“I’ve always been a huge cricket fan, so the chance to get out there and play alongside some incredible sporting legends will be great,” he said.
“But hopefully the captain (Vettori) will put me on the boundary when Brian is batting.”
Earlier this year, Thurston was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame after a distinguished career in rugby league.
He made his NRL debut in 2002 and won a premiership with the Bulldogs the same year.
Thurston represented Queensland and the Kangaroos before capturing another premiership ring in 2015 after kicking a field goal in golden point extra time for the Cowboys against the Broncos.
‘JT’ hung up his acting boots in 2018 and quickly made a successful move into media, where he is still employed by Channel Nine.