Forget the Ashes - 17 lawyers from across Australia are set to fly to England to take part in the 2nd International Lawyers' Cricket World Cup commencing on 26 July at Cambridge University.
The Australian lawyers' cricket team, co-ordinated by the Australian Lawyers Cricket Council (ALCC) and captained by DPP lawyer Karl Prince, will wield its bats against 11 teams from across the Commonwealth, including the reining champions from India.
Sponsoring the team are LexisNexis, the Law Society of NSW, DLA Phillips Fox, TressCox Lawyers and KordaMentha.
Speaking at the launch of the team uniforms at TressCox Sydney offices today, Australian Lawyers Cricket Council president Alex Martin said that the team had been picked through a vigorous selection trial held in January this year.
"We decided that if we were putting 'Australia' in our name, [the team] had to be selected purely on a merits basis," he said. "I would be greatly surprised if it didn't make the semi-finals top four - it's a great team on paper."
Martin said that the idea for establishing the International Lawyers' Cricket World Cup was first raised at the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Annual Conference in 2007, and the first one took place in Hyderabad in India last year.
India spared no expense in hosting the inaugural world cup, ringing in test umpires and commentators and televising the matches, and Martin admits he underestimated the value to be gained from the event.
"I thought it would involve killing a couple of weeks in a weird part of the world and it would all be a bit of fun ... but I hadn't realised the opportunity it would provide to establish networks and contacts."
He added that the ALCC is currently working to garner support for the 3rd Lawyers World Cup to be held in Sydney in January 2011, to coincide with the next Ashes series.
Aside from the networking opportunities the Cup provides, it also supports charities. This year's beneficiary is the "Chance to Shine" organisation - a British school sport development initiative aimed at creating a sustainable cricket culture in English and Welsh state schools.