MERVYN Gregory Hughes became Coffs Harbour's 'King of Cricket' for one day when he made a guest appearance on the weekend at Park Beach Reserve.

The taker of 212 Test match wickets and a former national selector, big Merv and his even bigger personality had the huge crowd eating out of his hand as they became part of a nationwide audience of 1.452 million witnessing Australia take the One Day International series from the Poms.

Kids took part in the MILOin2cricket promotion, adults 'chucked' red balls trying to win the $2500 stumps challenge, while rugby and cricket club supporters glued on over-sized moustaches in honour of their over-sized idol.

The gamble of showing the cricket on a super-sized screen and turning the surrounds into an arena for games and family activities proved a raging success.

Already, there's a push in the neighbouring city of Grafton to lasso the event for themselves and their cricket fans in 2015.

About 500 people were scattered about the reserve as players prepared to take the field at the faraway SCG.

But the number had more than trebled by late afternoon as the summer sunshine cooled.

Coffs Jetty food retailers loved it too, with several reporting a healthy increase in trade.

But cricket was the big winner, thanks to a certain larger-than-life Aussie sporting great.