Coffs local at the centre of one of the biggest sporting events in the world

Matt de Groot introduces cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

IN a year of big global sporting events, one of the biggest took place with a Coffs Harbour local front and centre.

Former CHYFM radio host Matt de Groot was the MC at the recent India and Pakistan showdown at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in New York.

It was here that he introduced a cricketing legend to the adoring crowd.

“I had to introduce Sachin Tendulkar to the crowd, which even days later is almost too much to take in,” de Groot said.

“I shook his hand, and knew I’d never wash that hand again.”

de Groot explained the grand scale of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“It was the culmination of millions of dollars of planning; the temporary stadium in Long Island cost $30 million USD to build and was better than most permanent stadiums in Australia,” he said.

“I was told very clearly from the ICC (International Cricket Council), that the success of this match would determine the success of the entire tournament, so be on your game.

“The television audience was reported at 600 million people, six times that of the Super Bowl.

“A suite was even set aside for Donald Trump who had indicated his intention to go to the game.

“Tickets were selling for a minimum $2000, the match sold out 240 times over in just nine minutes.

“I spoke to one man who spent $20,000 to fly from India just to see it.

“Last July I MC’d the Bledisloe Cup match at the MCG in front of 89,000 people, the 34,000 people at this match made dramatically more noise.”

de Groot reflected on his formative years in Coffs Harbour, and how far he had come.

“My first ground announcing gig was at the Coffs Harbour indoor stadium, hosting Suns rep basketball games while I was still at John Paul College,” he said.

“Now I’m on the ground, in New York City, hosting a World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and India, it’s wild.

“But it yet may not be the biggest event I do this year, as I’m also travelling to France in July to host various sports at the Olympic Games in Paris.

“2024 is a good year, let’s just put it that way.”


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