Young stars’ launch pad

STARTING POINT: Australian cricketer David Warner played in the Lismore carnival many years ago as a youngster.
STARTING POINT: Australian cricketer David Warner played in the Lismore carnival many years ago as a youngster. SAEED KHAN

TWO new teams will join the Lismore Workers Club Under-12 cricket carnival next week.

Penrith and Canterbury West will make it a capacity 20-team competition with the carnival to run over four-days from Tuesday.

The popular carnival is now in its 31st year, with two Far North Coast teams among the field.

Australian Test players David Warner (pictured), Josh Hazelwood and the late Phillip Hughes all played in the carnival as kids.

Lismore junior Tom Cooper also started out at the carnival before establishing himself in Sheffield Shield and one-day cricket in South Australia.

His mother Berni Cooper has taken over as carnival co-ordinator after several years with John McMahon at the helm.

"It's great to see so many teams coming and it should make for a competitive carnival," Berni Cooper said.

"A lot of work goes into it and you can see what a great job John has done over the years.

"It's always a popular carnival and we give each team the chance to play on turf wickets.

"Teams are coming from all over NSW and South-East Queensland."

About 300 players will attend the carnival along with parents and coaches.

It gives a boost to the Lismore economy at a time of year where a lot of locals are out of town on holiday.

"Some of the teams stay even longer after the carnival is finished and make a holiday out of it," Cooper said.

The Ballina Under-13 carnival is also next week and will be played over five-days from Monday.