"Whoever said 'don't meet your heroes' obvious didn't meet the right people."
Those were the gleeful sentiments of Angus Le Lievre after he spent Sunday in the company of some of cricket's all-time greats.
The former Saint Michaels all-rounder, a physiotherapist with Cricket NSW, was offered the chance to ply his trade on the players involved in the Bushfire Bash, a 10-over game organised to raise funds for victims of this summer's disastrous blazes.
Standing in the Junction Oval changing rooms alongside Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Adam Gilchrist and a host of other past and present stars, Le Lievre - a lifelong cricket lover - was in something approaching personal nirvana.
And being within such close proximity of greatness afforded the Wagga product some revelations about life at the top of world cricket's tree.
"Despite the fact that it was a charity game, listening to the talk on the sidelines you could tell there was an element of intensity from the great players," Le Lievre said.
"It was obvious Ricky Ponting had no intention of getting out, and even Courtney Walsh, who's 57 years old and has taken something like 1800 first class wickets, was letting them go at about 125km/h off five steps."
Watching proceedings in the boundary-side shelter alongside retired legends like Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Wasim Akram also afforded Le Lievre some insights with value beyond pitches and picket fences.
"In that setting it was easy to appreciate that these guys are just people," he said.
"Brian Lara was there with his wife and kids, most of the guys had their families around, and it was obvious that as big a part as cricket had played in their lives they had move on.
"The game is important but it is not everything."
Fighting an understandable urge to stargaze, Le Lievre was clear about his role in the day's proceedings and didn't badger the greats too much.