Peter Solway. Photo: Graham Tidy
They're two legends of the local game who made their name on the national stage, but Cricket ACT life member inductees Greg Irvine and Peter Solway both say it was a long, hard fight to get the territory recognised in the cricketing world.
The duo were awarded life membership at Friday night's Cricket ACT annual meeting. Irvine is one of ACT cricket's favourite sons and said beating powerhouses was influential in the battle to grow the sport in Canberra.
''We've had to fight for Canberra cricket. We're small fish in a big sea but we play above our weight,'' Irvine said. ''We are the underdog and it makes it even more special when we beat those big states.''
Greg Irvine. Photo: Ben MacMahon
Solway said a lot of the local talent gets drained off to the larger states because there is no first-class cricket side.
''If you do want to have a crack then you have to leave to go to another state,'' Solway said.
''It would be great if we had first-class status here and that's a goal to strive for - but I think we've come a long way.''
A master with the bat, Solway was selected in the Prime Minister's XI for the 1993-94 match.
Irvine is a true all-rounder, having picked up almost every award on offer in the ACT. He was selected for the Prime Minister's XI in 1987 against New Zealand and became the first person to claim five wickets in the annual fixture, taking 5-42 off nine overs.
Meanwhile, the ACT Meteors will begin their 2013-14 campaign with three trial matches in a series in Sydney this weekend.
The Meteors will take on the NSW Breakers, South Australian Scorpions and the Papua New Guinea women's team, with the matches to be played at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The three Twenty20 matches will be the first hit-out for the squad since missing out on a spot in the women's Twenty20 grand final last season.