By HARRY CLARKE

THE local politicians weren’t taking any bribes – but the umpires certainly were – when Emerald’s cricket community held its annual Pink Stumps Day to support the McGrath Foundation.

For example, $300 was paid to the on-field officials to enforce a rule that the town’s best bowler had to throw them down the pitch left-handed.

Another sum of money was stumped up to ensure that only boundaries were tallied on the score card – runs between the wickets didn’t count.

Such is the irreverence at Emerald’s popular annual cricketing event, which has now been running for a decade and this year raised $5,000 for breast cancer research and patient care.

“It was just brilliant,” said Emerald Brothers Cricket Club secretary and event organiser, Lyn Brown.

“Usually we have one round of the regular season as our Pink Stumps Day, and it usually raises about $1,500. This year we decided to make it a social event for the whole community and the support we had was amazing.

“Everyone had a great time. We set up a ladies’ tent and there were about 80 women there – 75 of them said it was the first time they’d ever watched a cricket game in their lives.”

Local MP Lachlan Millar, Member for the western Queensland seat of Gregory, was put under more pressure than a parliamentary inquiry when he was sent to the crease.

But by all reports Mr Millar’s strike rate was reasonable, and in the next innings he even took a wicket or two with his signature windmill bowling technique.

Fellow politician Kerry “Council Keeper” Hayers, mayor of the Central Highlands Regional Council, also featured on the field and hit a few boundaries. Onlookers said he was then as safe as houses with the gloves as wicketkeeper.

There have also been unconfirmed reports that renowned local photographer Terry Hill was so close to the action he instinctively took a screaming catch when the leather ball was belted in his direction on one occasion.

PHOTOS: Terry Hill Photography

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