ULVERSTONE all-rounder Corey Murfet admits he thought it was all one big joke when he got the call to say he'd been selected to take part in the Ricky Ponting Tribute Game at Aurora Stadium, until he realised it was Ponting himself on the other end of the line.
The selection of the 16-year-old from Riana completes the 22-player squad for the January 30 Twenty20 contest, joining state under-19 teammate Casey Young as the local cricketers in action.
Murfet, who will turn 17 two days before the game, said he couldn't wait to play on the same ground as some of the modern era's best cricketers, and as a Hawthorn supporter he gets the best of both worlds with Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead also set to line up.
"I'm not really sure why Ricky picked me, but I'm happy he did," Murfet said.
"Being a bowler, when I was young I really looked up to Brett Lee and the way he bowled and handled himself, but also being a Hawthorn supporter getting the chance to spend some time with some of the best players in that team will be unreal.
"I can't really explain how it is going to be.
"But I know it will be different to running out with my mates on the weekend, and to be playing with some of the best cricketers that have played for Australia and some of the biggest sporting stars will be unbelievable."
The final make-up of the game's two teams, which will be captained by Ponting and Adam Gilchrist will be announced tomorrow.
Organisers are predicting a crowd of 15,000, with more than 8000 tickets sold.
RICKY PONTING TRIBUTE GAME SQUAD: Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Dean Jones, Ian Healy, Greg Blewett, Ed Cowan, Brett Lee, Damien Fleming, Phil Hughes, Luke Hodge, Jarryd Roughead, Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Jack Riewoldt, Brett Deledio, Daniel Geale, Casey Young, Corey Murfet.