VIDEO, GALLERY: Junior cricketers have a blast in Bendigo

THE School Sport Australia 12-and-under cricket championships are not just about cricket.

After three rounds of on-field action, the players took advantage of Wednesday's day off to have some fun.

They spent the morning playing T20 Blast cricket at the QEO and Tom Flood Sports Centre before taking in two of Bendigo's most famous tourist attractions - the Central Deborah Gold Mine and Talking Trams - in the afternoon.

VIDEO: Leigh Sharp

The players were divided into mixed teams for the T20 Blast and they took the opportunity to build friendships with children from other states.

Batting and bowling figures didn't matter - it was all about fun.

"This tournament is as much about the kids' learning and development than it is cricket,'' School Sport Victoria national championships officer Howard Louis said.

"Playing the T20 Blast games is the perfect opportunity to get the kids together for a fun activity."

The serious side of the carnival resumes on Wednesday, with the Victorian male side and the New South Wales female team looking to consolidate their positions at the top of their respective ladders.

Fresh from a stunning win over New South Wales, Victoria faces another stern test against Queensland.

With games to come against Victoria and New South Wales, the Maroons remain in the hunt to win the Ricky Ponting Shield.

The other two states in championship contention - South Australia and New South Wales - meet on Thursday.

New South Wales is in a strong position to retain the girls' trophy - the Grahame Barret Shield.

The unbeaten Blues face Victoria on Thursday and South Australia on Friday.

 The highlight of Thursday's draw will be the clash between the ACT and Victoria Invitational at Bell Oval.

Both teams are looking for their first win of the tournament.

The other match on Thursday is between Queensland and South Australia at Harry Trott Oval.

Ladders: Boys - Victoria 18, SA 13, Queensland 13, NSW 13, ACT 3, NT 3.

Girls - NSW 18, SA 13, Queensland 13, Victoria 13, ACT 3, Victoria Invitational 3.

Thursday's draw: Boys - SA v NSW at Tannery Lane, Victoria v Queensland at Dower Park, NT v ACT at Golden Square.

Girls - Victoria v NSW at Canterbury Park, Queensland v South Australia at Harry Trott Oval, ACT v Victoria Invitational at Bell Oval.

Friday's draw: Boys - Queensland v NSW at Weeroona Oval, NT v SA at North Bendigo, ACT v Victoria at QEO.

Girls - NSW v SA at Golden Square, Victoria v ACT at Harry Trott Oval, Victoria Invitational v Queensland at Bell Oval.

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