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Drought turns once flowing river into ... cricket pitch?

The Ferguson family plays a game of cricket on the dry Balonne River.
The Ferguson family plays a game of cricket on the dry Balonne River. Contributed

HOW many opportunities do you get to play cricket on a river?

St George residents aren't going to die wondering, with some playing cricket and golf on the dry Balonne riverbed in the middle of our driest season ever.

Nick and Rochelle Ferguson took their two children onto the river last week, saying the motivation was to do something that might not be repeated.

"I said to the kids 'Hopefully we'll never see this again in our lifetime, so let's do something different for the sake of it and say we've crossed the Balonne and played cricket on it'," Rochelle said.

The Balonne River in flood just 12 months ago.
The Balonne River in flood just 12 months ago. Lyndon Keane

"We were literally in the middle of it in front of the police station - we couldn't believe how dry it was.

"It is really hard and dry on the surface, and my daughter and I didn't even get mud on our feet."

Fellow community members Brett Nosse and Craig Dreher also had a bit of fun, snapping some photos of them golfing on the river, which has no flow and barely any water left.

"Craig came up with the idea, basically saying 'Why not? You can't do that every day'. It's not very often it's like that," Brett said.

The Balonne River is now dry after being in flood in January 2013.
The Balonne River is now dry after being in flood in January 2013.

Rochelle said in these tough times, a bit of humour and fun was always welcome.

"While it is devastating at the moment, it's good to get a little bit of fun at the moment," she said.

"My kids will always be able to say in 2014 they walked across the river and played cricket on it."

Topics:  balonne river drought st george



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