Australia's cricketers might have failed to regain the Ashes, but the Australian Lawyers Cricket team still holds the title as the champions of the Lawyers World Cup.
While England completed a 3-1 Ashes series victory over the hapless Australian side at the SCG today (7 January), a number of lawyers donned the flannels and played in a number of trial matches in northern Sydney this week to select Australia's squad for the Lawyers World Cup in Barbados in August.
Around 30 lawyers from all over Australia took part in the matches, which included a game against a touring English team of solicitors and barristers, with the moniker of the "Refreshers".
In a 40 over match, Australia made 200 runs before bowling out the English team for 127, to give Australian cricket supporters some solace after losing the Ashes.
Alex Martin, an opening batsman and wicketkeeper, was part of the Australian team that won the last Lawyers World Cup in Cambridge, England, in 2009. A former representative cricketer in Tamworth, he runs his own firm, Martin Legal in Sydney, and said that despite the pressures of running his own firm, the time away from the office was worthwhile.
"It's always hard being a sole principal with 14 staff, as there is no one else to shoulder the burden," Martin said. "But playing cricket [with the Australian Lawyers team] fulfils both a personal interest and also a public service, as you are giving back to the community that has given so much to me."
While cricket is known for some of its intricate and peculiar rules, the Lawyers World Cup has also added some of its own. No more than five players can be under 32, and if any player has first class experience, such as Greg Rowell, a lawyer with Wilson Lawyers in Brisbane, who played Sheffield Cricket for NSW, Queensland and Tasmania, they must be over 42.
Australia will field two teams in the world cup, which will have a total of 16 teams competing.
Martin said that he is confident Australia can retain its world title, but that Sri Lanka, England and South Africa will provide stiff competition.
* The Australian lawyers cricket team is sponsored by LexisNexis, the publisher of Lawyers Weekly