HE THOUGHT it was time to put away the bat 21 years ago but Peter Flack still can’t get away from the sport he loves.
A man with cricket in his blood, if ever there was one, the 76-year-old is still pulling on the whites in both local competition and for touring state and national sides.
That is not to mention his extensive work off the field as a long-time volunteer administrator, which was recently recognised by Cricket Victoria in the form of a certificate of appreciation for more than 50 years of service to the sport.
“I’ve coached footy and done all of that but cricket’s the only game,” Flack said.
The Bundoora resident first played juniors for Ascot Aberfeldie Methodists before moving to St Johns.
He then spent 27 years as a player and junior coach at Coburg Cricket Club, before a short stint at Essendon in 1994-95, which was supposed to spell the end of his playing career.
“I was 55 by then and I dropped out of cricket from a playing perspective,” Flack said. “Then I went to a lunch one day at the Australian Cricket Society and a bloke sitting next to me said, ‘you used to play at Essendon’.
“They played over-60s so they told me to come down one day and watch them.
“Like a fool I went down and they only had 10, the oldest trick in the world. And now I’m still playing.”
That lunch was in 2009 and Flack has been playing for the ACS since.
“It’s been nearly 68 years in cricket. It’s been a long trail,” he said.
Coming out of retirement has been one of the best decisions Flack has made.
“It’s given me a second life,” Flack said.
“A lot of people, once they get on dialysis, think it’s the end of the world. But cricket’s given me something to do and something to look forward to.”
By the end of the year, Flack would have played cricket in every Australian state with the ACS as part of national carnivals and the “not fast” outswing bowler is preparing for a third tour of England in July with the Australian over-70s Test team.
But Flack’s off-field work has been his greatest legacy, dating back to 1965-66 when he first served as secretary at Essendon. Since then there have been roles with multiple clubs as a coach, team manager and scorer.
He has also been a secretary with the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association since 2004.
“I’ve done a lot of work with the subbies. I stayed with them even after I stopped playing,” he said.
“Every Saturday night I get 57 scores, type them up, send them to AAP in Sydney and they send them back to the Melbourne papers. It keeps me busy.”
While his body still allows, Flack is keen to keep on playing.
But even after the bat is put away for good, he still plans to keep serving his favourite sport.
“I’ll stay involved,” Flack said.