Played my first senior match the day before my 13th birthday in 1961 with Heatherhill Methodists in the DDCA’s ‘C’ Grade Matting Competition. I was selected in the DDCA’s Under 23 team as a 16 year-old in 1964. We played a match on the Punt Road Oval and it was the only match I played in a 37 year career in which I made a pair. Every time I drive past or walk past the ground on my way to the MCG, I’m reminded of it. In 1965 I joined Dandenong who were then in Sub-district. Played most of my matches in the 2nd and 3rd XIs with only a handful in the Firsts. During my time at Dandenong I was notorious for making great 20s. One of the highlights was twice playing at Kardinia Park on the best wicket I ever played on. From 1961 to 1966 I attended Mentone Grammar School and played in the MGS 1st XI from 1963 to 1966. I was fortunate to play in the School’s first Associated Grammar Schools premiership in 1965 and again the following year. In 1970-71 I joined the Old Mentonians Cricket Club and played a total of 325 matches which included three 1st XI premierships. I won the 1st XI Batting five times and set the 1st XI record score of 150no in 1980 in a partnership of 222 – both stood for 35 years! I retired as a player at the age of 50, early in the 1998-99 season. At the start of the 1974-75 season I was appointed 1st XI captain and became the first captain in the Club’s history to lead the 1st XI into relegation, a feat I very nearly achieved again the following season. Not surprisingly, they were the only two seasons in which I captained the 1st XI. In 1975 I was elected Secretary of the Club and this is a position I still hold. The 2017~2018 season will be my 43rd consecutive season as secretary. I think it’s a reasonable assessment to suggest I’m a better administrator than I was a captain.
1978/79 – ACS Cricketer of the Year
1984 – Life Membership Old Mentonians Cricket Club
2006 – Old Mentonians Team of the Century
2012 – Cricket Victoria Outstanding Volunteer Award
2014 – Cricket Victoria 50 Year Service Award
2015 – VTCA Service Award
My favourite cricket story:
Shane Warne and I both attended Mentone Grammar School, albeit 20 years apart. Each year there is an annual match between the School’s 1st XI and the Headmaster’s XI. I think the year was 1986 and I’d heard that the School had a young gun named Warne. I opened the innings and had scored about 25 when Warnie brought himself on to bowl. He set his field with a silly point, gully, slip, bat pad, short backward leg, forward square leg, mid-on, mid-off and cover point. My initial thoughts were something along the lines of “Who does this kid think he is, bowling with this field to me. You’re not playing against boys now, son, you’re playing against men. I’m going to teach you a lesson.” I watched Warnie’s first 2 deliveries pass outside off stump. Then his 3rd ball pitched short and I was on the back foot ready to smash it through mid-wicket. However, I discovered that, even as a schoolboy, he could bowl a flipper. The ball fizzed off the pitch, hardly bouncing. I just managed to get an inside edge to it otherwise I would have been plumb lbw. Now my thoughts were along the lines of “This kid can bowl but I can’t allow him to bowl with this field or he will get me out.” So, when the next ball was tossed up I was down the pitch after it. I didn’t quite get to the pitch of it but got enough of it to just clear mid-on and it ran away to the boundary. The last ball of the over was short and this time I was on the lookout for a flipper but it was a regulation longhop which I duly despatched through mid-wicket for another boundary. In Warnie’s 2nd over I again hit him for 2 boundaries and he took himself out of the attack with 0/16 off 2 overs. Little did I know that I’d just hit out of the attack someone who would go on to be one of the greatest cricketers ever to play the game. I’ve dined out on this story for more than 30 years.
Played for 30 years – St Stephens Caulfield CC, Hawthorn East Melbourne CC and Virginia Park & Washington CCs (both City of Moorabbin), coached for 8 years and scored for 10 years. Also President at St Stephens for 15 years. During my stint with St Stephens I played in five Interstate series winning the Carnival Bowling Average with 23 wickets at 5.23 in 1964/65 and Captaining in 1966 & 1968/69 in Queensland and Adelaide. Overall I claimed 50 wickets at 10.15.
My stint with Hawthorn East Melbourne began in 1953 and lasted 7 years, winning the Bowling Average (3rds) in 1953 and the Batting Average in the 2nds from 1954 to 1958. I scored approximately 4,500 runs – HS: 92 (Hawthorn East Melbourne 2nds) and took approximately 1,000 wickets, including 40 x 5WI, 20 x 7WI with a best of 16/74.
My coaching experience was with the Washington and Mackie Cricket Clubs. Both of my sons, Rodney & Daryl, have captained both Clubs – Rodney has played in Premierships for both while Daryl played with Mackie in their Premiership year – he is still playing at Washington (as Captain) – aged 52. Games between both Clubs are played for the “Meaklim Trophy”.
In my recent OAM Award, reference was made to my involvement in suburban cricket.
Feel free to add your favourite cricket story about yourself:
When bowling in partnership for several overs, we had the opposition four wickets down. As Captain I indicated that I would come off and informed my replacement. My bowling partner in the next over broke the partnership. I then decided to stay on – the first 4 balls of the over were wickets – a double hat-trick – and on the final ball of the over I took another wicket – 5/0 and they were all out! On another occasion, in the 2nd Innings, I gave four bowlers 2 overs each and the score was 0/30. I decided to have a bowl and again took 5 wickets in the over including another hat-trick.
“It pays to be Captain!!!!”
My involvement in cricket which began in 1977 has been alwaysin South Australia:
Player 1977-1982 – McLaren Flat CC (club disbanded)
Player 1982-2017 – Kangarilla CC (still playing)
Player 1984 – Southern Districts representative in state Shell Shield U17 competition
Kangarilla CC Playing Statistics:
Right Hand top-order batsman and wicket keeper
513 games played including 177 in ‘A’ grade
9,169 runs scored at an average of 21
Two Centuries and Forty Fifties with a Highest Score of 108
Twenty-three Century Partnerships
525 ‘keeping dismissals (404 catches, 25 stumpings & 96 run outs)
5 times five dismissals or more in an innings
Captain for 14 seasons across various grades
6 grand finals and 4 premierships
Coach & Manager – 12 seasons Kangarilla CC Under 13, 14 & 15 grades
Coach & Manager – 2 seasons Hills Cricket Association Under 12 & 14 grades
Administrator 2001-2017 – Kangarilla CC Committee Member
Administrator 2008-2017 – Kangarilla CC ‘MyCricket’ System Data Manager
Administrator 2011-2017 – Kangarilla CC Junior Cricket Co-ordinator
SACA (Adelaide Oval) Member from 2003
Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians (England) Member from 2003
The Cricket Society (England) Member from 2013
Cricket Philatelic Society Member from 2011
Researched & documented 140 year history of Kangarilla CC – self published in 2016
Owner of a growing library of cricket books currently in excess of 1300
27 Kangarilla CC Season aggregate awards for Batting and Fielding
2 Association level aggregate awards for batting and fielding
Life Member Kangarilla CC 2003
Kangarilla CC Cricketer of the Year 2008 (statistical award)
Kangarilla CC Most Valuable Player 2016 (voted award)
2 times Kangarilla CC T20 Cricketer of the Year
SACA 25 Year Cricket Volunteer Recognition 2017
City of Onkaparinga Club Life Membership Recognition 2013
Favourite Cricket Story:
In March 1990 I played my first senior grade grand final. On day one I waved away a caught behind chance as I felt it had not carried to my gloves. The umpire indicated he was unsure and thanked me for my call. Opening the batting on day two I had scored just 7 when I chipped a catch to short square leg and ‘walked’. The umpire after the match told me he would have ruled it not out (which was incorrect) if I had stood my ground. As we lost a tight game that weekend by just four runs I was somewhat shattered given the potential impact my sporting gestures had on the result. Exactly twenty years later to the week I lined up in another grand final in the same grade at the same oval. Opening the batting this time I scored 70 and put on 120 with my partner as we set up a comfortable win for the team. My fair play had been rewarded by the cricket gods – eventually.
Alan Clark, AM
ear joined ACS: 2015.
I first became involved in game of cricket in 1958-59.
My involvement in cricket –
As an eight-year-old, I was introduced to the sport when my father took me to see a day of the 1950-51 Test match, Australia v West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Played 1958-59 until 1974-75 as leg-spinning all rounder with St Andrews (now Western Park) in the Warragul District Cricket Association (Vic.).
While my own career as a player would not be notable, a team-mate from that era, Bob Baldry would go on to represent Victoria.
I served four seasons as association recorder prior to leaving Warragul in 1975.
Moving to Nowra (NSW), I became recorder/statistician for Shoalhaven District Cricket Association in 1976-77, holding that position until the end of 2011-12.
Represented Shoalhaven at meetings of the South Coast and Highlands Cricket Council from 1981-82, and appointed registrar in 1985-86. That body evolved to become Southern Zone Cricket and I continued in that position until end of 2011-12.
Working at South Coast Register newspaper, I gradually took over writing all cricket reports, and by end of working life in 2012, was providing articles for up to 20 pages each week. That included a ‘Behind The Stumps’ feature in each Friday edition during the season, which was published for more than 20 years.
Wrote book of Shoalhaven District Cricket Association history for centenary in 1992-93; another for the Shoalhaven Junior Cricket jubilee in 2008-09; and histories for the Nowra, Berry-Shoalhaven Heads, Bomaderry and Ex-Servicemen clubs.
In retirement, I am writing histories of various clubs no longer in existence.
Life member of St Andrews Cricket Club, 1975.
Life member of Shoalhaven District Cricket Association, 1985.
Life member of Southern Zone Cricket, 2000.
Won NSW Cricket Association media award, for best article on country cricket 1994-95, 1995-96 and 1997-98 seasons; and following a change in format, the NSW Country Cricket Association media award for 2004-05.
Awarded gold pin by Cricket Australia for 50 years’ involvement in the sport, 2009.
In the Australia Day Honours of 2003, I was appointed a Member (AM) in the Order of Australia, in recognition of contributions to local history, cricket administration, etc.
Favourite cricket stories – greatest satisfaction
I had watched the debut of Shoalhaven’s first Test cricketer Ian Davis; and having followed his career from under 10s, was quietly confident that Nic Maddinson would become the second.
Because of the position I held from 1976-77, I had complete records of clubs and players for a period of 35 years, and along the way set about gathering information about Shoalhaven cricket from earlier years, via a small number of available scorebooks, but mainly through newspapers.
The earliest known matches were in 1854-55, and on almost exhausting my sources, I set about making use of the information, firstly by listing over 2000 centuries scored in the district by batsmen.
I then started compiling databases of bowling statistics up until the 2011-12 season.
At the last count I had 9,920 instances of bowlers taking five or more wickets in an innings; another 1,172 who had taken 10 or more wickets in a match; along with 545 hat-tricks.
played cricket actively throughout school culminating with two years in the First XI (Geelong Grammar). I played some representative games at Melbourne University and for 4 years in the Trinity College XI.
Moved to Canberra in 1962 and played for Manuka in the district competition. Following diplomatic postings it became impossible to continue playing apart from social matches so gave playing away.
Have always had and still do have a very close interest in the game.
Recently donated my cricket library – or most of it – to the Johnny Mullagh/Don Bradman Museum in Harrow, West Wimmera, Victoria.
One year at Carlton Cricket Club in 1957. Did not play again until joining East Malvern CC in 1964. Life Member and longest serving player in the Club’s history.
Won 3rd XI bowling award 15 times (all after turning 40). Won 2nd XI Bowling Award at ages 60 & 61. Club Champion at age 66.
50-year Certificate of Acknowledgement from Cricket Victoria.
East Malvern’s 3rd XI Bowling Award named in my honour
Feel free to add your favourite cricket story about yourself:
Many years ago after “moving swiftly” to field the ball on the boundary, I was preparing to throw to the keeper when the ball went backwards into the fence. I was called ‘Golden Arm’ for several Seasons.
Have opened the bowling for the Victorian Over 70s for several Seasons and represented the Australian Over 70s against England in 2015 at the Allan Border Oval. Also toured England in 2015 with the Victorian Over 70s.
- Commenced in Warrnambool as an 11 Year Old Played Under 17 Cricket as the only Junior Competition available.
- Moved to Geelong Played Juniors at East Belmont in the morning and Seniors in the Afternoon.
- Won District 3rds Premiership as a 17 Year Old.
- Played Geelong Junior Country week with Graeme Ross who later played for Victoria.
- Played Dowling Shield 1968-69 with Hawthorn East Melbourne – Played against Richmond got Graham Yallop out – Captain was Graeme Mathews and Steven Whitelaw a team-mate, both of whom played later for Victoria.
- Played 1 Season with Geelong 1970-71 in VSDCA (Subbies).
- Joined St Joseph’s College Cricket Club – GCA in 1972 played 1sts & 2nds till 1991-Opening Bowler – Won awards (Refer Below).
- Moved to Melbourne 1992 -Joined Caulfield Cricket Club and still involved with Caulfield on Committee- Won Awards (Refer Below).
- Joined ACS Committee 1997 -Late Richard Elvins was President, am still involved with the ACS on Committee and playing in O60s & Wandering XI games.
- St Joseph’s Cricket Club – Geelong-2nds Bowling Average 1975-76 and 1976-77.
- St Joseph’s Cricket Club – Geelong Best Clubman 1975-76
- St Joseph’s Cricket Club – Geelong -Highest Score -77 Batting Number 11.
- Caulfield Cricket Club – HH Little Best Clubman -2013-14.
- Caulfield Cricket Club – Awarded Life Membership 2016-2017.
- Caulfield Cricket Club Committee Member from 2005.
- ACS Committee Member from 1997.
Feel free to add your favourite cricket story about yourself:
- Have done every Ashes tour since 1973. Roommate has been John Craig – Ormond Hall of Fame Member.
- Toured (Canada (twice), Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand (twice), Fiji, South Africa (twice), Perth and the Sunshine & Gold Coasts) and organized many of these tours with the ACS in conjunction with the Ringwood Possums.
Toured Botswana and Barbados (2017), playing Cricket.
My involvement in cricket has been as follows:
Played initially in Colac and played there for 10 years and in 8 Premiership teams. In my first game, we required 33 runs to win with 9 wickets down. We got them – my batting partner was my brother!
Joined Golden Point CC in 1966, playing there for 35 Seasons. President (4 Seasons), 1st XI Captain (2 Seasons), 2nd XI Captain (8 Seasons) but only one Premiership as Captain (2nd XI). However played in seven other Premiership teams over the journey. Best Player Awards on 6 occasions, Batting Average Trophy on four occasions – best effort of 521 runs at an average of 102.75 in the 3rd XI in 1994/95, and the Bowling Award on 5 occasions. All told scored 7005 runs and took 464 wickets.
Life Member at Golden Point.
Three Richard Elvins Awards.
Club Champion in 1999/2000.
Represented Australia in the Over 70s and was awarded the Man of the Match Award.
Featured in an opening stand of 370 and of 167 with Brendan Mulrooney for the 9th wicket, both of which are Record-Partnerships for Golden Point, and 154 for the 7th wicket (3rd XI) and 84 for the 10th wicket (5th XI).
On the playing side I won SSCCA Bowling Averages in 1951-52, 1961-62, 1962-63, 1968-69, 1971-72 and the Federal District in 1974-75. In 1961-62 I took a record 78 wickets (which still stands). I also took six hat-tricks, a double hat-trick and on one occasion 5 wickets in 6 balls. On the Crusaders 1997 UK Tour I was awarded the Man-of-the-Match. My best bowling performance was 10/1 for SSCCA against South Australia (in 1946) – my match figures were 13/2, having taken 3/1 in the 1st Innings.
In October 1968 while on a Business Trip to Adelaide, I contacted Sir Donald Bradman and asked whether he would become our Patron and perhaps address the Society at our Annual Dinner. While quite suspicious, he contacted Rad Grace who vouched for me, and he agreed to both. I was an inaugural Member and at the second Meeting was elected to replace Bill Jacobs on the Committee. In 1968 I played in a Dress-up Match at Wattle Flat between “H H Stephenson’s XI v Castlemaine” The Poms had stayed at Fern Dale Manor (my Brother-In-Law’s home) – Castlemaine won!
For the first four Annual Dinners I supplied after-dinner mints (through Bill Meaklim), wine & cigars (through British Tobacco) at no cost. Between 1968 and 1970 I contacted every author of cricket ‘Letters to the Editor’ to The Sun and The Age, sending out many Applications For Membership.
My memories include Ian Botham attempting to start WWIII against the NSW Branch, Graham Matthews having difficulties with a split plastic box and suggesting to Colin Barnes that he had had a fair bowl and a change was an option and his reply was “OK, I’ll go on the other end”.
I have made some life-long friends having served with them on the early Committees – Ian Stuart (a Dear Man), Ken Woolfe, Rad Grace (Great Lunches), George Murray, Roger Page, Merv Shaw and of course Andrew Joseph.
Feel free to add your favourite cricket story about yourself:
My reverse hat-trick – I dropped 3 catches in successive balls off the one bowler!
I can recall taking block (at the old Fitzroy Ground) in a pool of blood after Colin Cust had been floored by an MCC Quick.
I also arranged to get “this great keeper” to play for Berwick only to have Darren Berry stolen after I had mentioned his skills to George Murray.
I played School cricket in Georgetown and Essex in England. Founded a Wandering Cricket Club; acted as Secretary, Fixture Secretary, President; Captain; Played for Richmond CC (3RD XI); Was a Middle order batsman and bowled leg spin.
Cricket Coach of the National Cricket Council (England) – led by Jack Robertson and coached by Alf Gover. Coached the ICC Gibraltar Team, Under 12s in the Surrey and Essex Schools Cricket Associations; and with the VCA and at the Templeton CC – Milo Have-a-Go, U12s and U14s.
Involved in the Under 15 Cricket World Cup in England in 1995.
I played my early cricket with second hand cricket equipment provided by Sir Clyde Walcott and enjoyed Tea at Lord’s with Sir Everton Weeks at the MCC v Rest of the World celebrating the 1987 Bicentenary of the MCC.
Started playing U/16 in 1959/60 even though only aged 11 at the time – there were no U/10, U/12 or U/14 competitions in those days. First senior game was in 1960/61 (aged 12). Senior and juniors games were all played at the same time then – 1.30 until 6pm. This meant that I rarely played with the juniors unless they wanted me to qualify for the finals. Played two years Dowling Shield with Essendon – 1962/63 & 1963/64. School cricket virtually did not exist then (I went to a high school) and I only played two games for the school in Year 12.
A very hard worker at University, I did not have much opportunity to play all that many senior games whilst I was doing my first degree – mainly because I needed to work to earn enough to pay for all the fees. My parents shifted house in 1968 and I went with them. Sick of playing on sub-standard matting wickets, I went to the nearest turf club – Malvern Sub-District and within a matter of weeks I was playing in the subbie’s 2nd X1 and enjoying some success. I played the following season there and reached the 1st X1, but that was it – I was married that year and our first house was in Surrey Hills – way too far to travel there and back to Malvern three times a week. A neighbour persued me to play with the local turf club – Mont Albert, but I found that the wickets there were fairly ‘average’ and nothing like the ‘roads’ we had at Malvern. After a few years I was sick of that so I moved to the Box Hill Sub-District club and appeared with them for eight seasons, captaining teams and finding success as a bat and as a wicketkeeper. I took a break to concentrate on athletics and (in many ways) enjoyed that more – competing in the both the summer and winter seasons, but still playing the occassional game elsewhere.
I ran Victorian Schools’ cricket through the Victorian Schools Cricket Association from 1975 until 2001. At that time I was a Regional Manager for one quarter of the State high schools and it was only logical to join the VSCA as the high schools had four teams playing in their U/19 competition. Secretary and Treasurer of the VSCA got me appointed as the Schools’ Delegate to the Victorian Cricket Association and as the Victorian delegate to the Australian Schools’ Cricket Council – all of these jobs were retained until 2001. I have had many jobs through the VCA – Match Manager for VicSpirit, Match Manager for the Southern Stars, Umpiring at trial matches, Selector of many underaage State teams, Coach/Manager of many underage teams competiting in Interstate competitions, Training Co-ordinator for the World Cup – and so it still goes on.
I have played 483 senior games and scored almost 6,000 runs at an average of 30.9 with one sub-district century (119) in there. As a ‘keeper (for about half of those games), I have effected 483 dismissals (yes, I know it is the same number as games played…) comprising 272 catches and 211 stumpings. Bowling is not my strong point, but I have taken 61 wickets as an average of 13.3 bowling ‘nude balls’ (they have nothing on them….)
I won the team batting averages at Box Hill for five consecutive years and have also won them at Mont Albert and Malvern.
My OAM was awarded for ‘services to junior cricket’.
My ASM was awarded for services to girls cricket’
I have a 50 years service award from Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria
I am a Life Member of Cricket Victoria, Victorian Schools’ Cricket Association and the Australian Schools Cricket Council.
Feel free to add your favourite cricket story about yourself:
A stodgy, slow scoring player with a limited range of strokes I came home one night and ‘moon walked’ into the house and told my family that I hit a six today…. My 16 year old son (then) said ‘that’s great Dad’. He was playing at the same club as me then, but about two grades higher. He said ‘I hit three sixes out of the ground and onto the road in the opening over today’…. I never mentioned my six again.
My involvement started when in Grade I, I was selected for the School XI vs Grade XII an annual feature at my school. Of course, as the littlest guy on the field, I batted at No. 11.
I played throughout my school and University career as an Opening batsman and sometime Off Spin bowler, all played in India. I had more than one hero to emulate, as I adored Don Bradman, Keith Miller and Denis Compton. In mid 1960’s I emigrated to Australia, settling in Melbourne. In 1970, I had the honor to meet Sir Donald Bradman, who had retired as Chairman of Selectors and refused point blank to speak to all Aussie journalists. It was a time when he had strained relations with his son who had even changed his name to John Bradsen. Oh the stories we exchanged about his family, the Australian and overseas cricketers and his passing trips to the sub-continent. In India, I had the good fortune to meet many Australian cricketers including, Bill Alley, Cecil Pepper, George Tribe, Jack Pettiford and the great West Indian Sir Frank Worrell and a few pommie cricketers. Some old English stalwarts I met at the MCG when they came down to celebrate the Centenary Test in 1976. Oh the stories these spin masters Percy Fender and Harold Larwood spun out as we sat in the main pavilion and drank a beer are just memorable. At an ACS meeting held on ANZAC Day I at the Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne I met Bill Brown, Arthur Morris, Neil Harvey, Sam Loxton as they farewelled an Aussie Army XI leaving on a tour of India to play the various Defence Force Teams in India. I can recall the ACS meetings of old, I remember one held in the Old MCC Entrance Race, with the honorable speaker Christopher Martin-Jenkins perched on the concrete wall of the race as we the members stood all around listening to him. In 2001 I addressed a luncheon gathering of the ACS members during the regime of Neville Turner and Doug Manning. Following the death of my wife in 2006, I toured USA & West Indies with the Primary Club of Australia. At Fort Lauderdale I met Everton Weekes and many retired old West Indies players and formed a friendship with Joel Garner.
Having reached the age of 32, I decided to take up umpiring and did umpire for VJCA, VCA, YCW, North Western Cricket League and the Diamond Valley League for whom I umpired for ten years.
In 1995, members could purchase Life Membership at a substantial price, so some of us did become Life members and we were offered a beautiful token of our dedication. Some years later rather unethically, the office bearers decided to rescind all Life membership. A sad day as many devoted cricket lovers felt soured.
After 24 cruises all over the world and touring all 7 continents and over 120 countries, I now have contracted serious vascular problems with my legs and am unable to travel overseas and even difficult to attend ACS meetings. Last month I suffered a stroke and spent some time in St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.
I am the proud owner of the ‘Invincibles’ Cricket bat, the Don Bradman Centenary cricket ball and some of his memorabilia including a cigarette packet picture of DOUGLAS JARDINE.
Played (mainly) with St Andrews (Coburg District CA) and Long Island (Mornington Peninsula CA – MPCA) until I retired in 1993. Founded the Long Island CC with two mates in 1974.
I started playing in the 1961/62 Season playing one Season in Under 16s as a tearaway fast bowler – in my first game I collected 5/10 (geez I must have been quick!) but was well and truely brought down to earth when I was dismissed for a second-ball duck. From memory my bowling stayed reasonably consistent (48 wickets) as did my batting as I rarely bothered the scorers! After an extremely forgettable Season of Senior Cricket with a newly formed Club where we went through the season winless, I joined St Andrews the Club with which I played football. My first Season with St Andrews was memorable – it saw the Club’s first Premiership – I still have my Premiership Cap (geez my head was small in those days!). I played every game and scored 7no and 8no in the Grand Final which took my Season Aggregate to 24 runs, I didn’t bowl a great deal (I think I took about 12 wickets) so my fielding must have been exceptional! After that Season quite a few of our top-order batsmen left so I took the opportunity to open the batting. I must have done a reasonable job as I played that role for 5 Seasons. I also opened the Bowling from that second Season for a few years. In the last few Seasons with St Andrews I batted in the middle order and bowled second or third change. I had also got married and we were living in Chelsea so for the last two Seasons at St Andrews we would train it to Coburg each Saturday morning and return home later that evening. I played 88 games, scored 950 runs and took 168 wickets.
Moving to Frankston, I joined the Frankston East CC and lasted two Seasons – I captained them a few times in my second year. Frustrated with the way the Club was being run, I stood out of Cricket for a year and it was during my time out of the game that the thought of forming a new Club came to mind. With two mates who also stood out of the game that Season, we contacted the various organisations whose approval we required to form our Club. Just prior to the 1974/75 Season the Long Island Cricket Club was formed.
With one team in that first Season I opened both Batting and Bowling on most occasions and we made the Finals. In our second Season we increased our teams to two with the 1st XI winning the Premiership and the 2nd XI runners-up. Unfortunately for me my form petered-out near the end of the Season and I played in the 2nds in the last few games. I was back in the 1st XI the next Season and held my spot over the next four but age and general unfitness combined and I moved gradually down the Grades. I also moved gradually down the Batting order and eventually returned to where it all began – ROSS, W. S batting at #11. My bowling too lost whatever zip it had and after a few Seasons of sending down the occasional mediums I turned to off-spin. After a few games with little success I decided to attempt the “thinking-man’s bowling” – leg-spin. I had a fair amount of success with this, mystifying Batsmen who continually played for the spin only to find how lethal I could deliver the “straight-break”. There were however a few occasions when I did turn the ball – usually when I rapped the Batsman on the pads only to have the Umpire respond to my appeal with “you turned it too much”. I played 206 games (78 in the 1st XI), scored 1850 runs and took 299 wickets and I did get to play in a Premiership when in 1990/91 our 3rd XI chased down 298 runs to win by a wicket. In this game I got the closest I have ever been to a Century in my career when I took 1/96 off 37 overs.
During my 22 years with Long Island I served as Secretary (7 years), President (4 years) and Treasurer (5 years) over a 20-year period with the Club. In the mid 80s I joined the MPCA Board/Executive and served as Pennant Committee Chairman and Senior Vice President for 5 years, then in 1993 became the Association’s General Manager, serving in that role for 9 years. In 2001 while still with the MPCA, I was appointed as Secretary of the Frankston Peninsula CC and two years later when I finished at the MPCA I became its General Manager, serving for 9 years until retiring in 2011. In retirement I have been scoring for the Club including the last two Seasons as 1st XI Scorer.
I also served for 20 years as Pathways Manager & Scorer for the South East Country Region and have been Secretary of the Australian Cricket Society since 2010.
Life Member of the Long Island Cricket Club and the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association.
Feel free to add your favourite cricket story about yourself:
I’ve only ever had one wager on the game, it was Long Island versus Mt Eliza in the 3rd XI, when an opponent got up my nose constantly throughout the first day’s play. Over an ale in the Mt Eliza Clubrooms we laid $20 on the result – I felt pretty safe as we had scored 9/240. I gratefully collected the $20 at the end of the game – I got almost as much satisfaction collecting the $20 as I did collecting 5/27 in their 1st Innings of 128 – and yes, he was one of my victims!