Scott Boland, the new hero of the MCG

by | Jan 2, 2022 | News | 0 comments

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WAYNE ROSS profiles another Frankston legend, SCOTT BOLAND, the new hero of the MCG 

Scott Boland was added to the Australian Ashes Squad a week before the third Ashes Test between Australia and England as insurance for Josh Hazelwood who was endeavoring to recover from a side Strain.  There were also doubts about the fitness of Michael Nesser and Jhye Richardson who performed brilliantly in the Second Test at Adelaide.  Added to this was that Scott was regarded as a ‘MCG Specialist’ where his record for the Victorians was excellent.  

Selected for his Test debut on Boxing Day Day, Scott, 32, was the oldest Australian fast bowling debutant since Geff Noblet more than 70 years ago.

He was also the only the second indigenous Australian male to receive the Baggy Green.

Scott grew up playing cricket – he has loved the game since he was six years old.  His initial Club was Parkdale CC where he played most of his Junior Cricket.He was in the club’s 4th XI in 2003~2004 and first broke  into the club’s 1st XI in the 2005~2006 season, as a batting all-rounder.  

Prior to the 2007~2008 season, Parkdale’s coach – Cameron ‘Crusty’ Atkins, a former Frankston Peninsula CC player – recommended that 17 year old Scott give Premier Cricket a try.  Cameron had joined the Heat in the 1996~1997 season at 16, taking out the Club Champion Award the following season before returning to local cricket.

Scott played 11 games in the 1st XI and 6 with the seconds in his first season at Frankston Peninsula but in the following season played only the one game with the firsts and 16 in the 2nds, scoring 385 runs at 32.27 and taking 37 wickets at 18.62.  His performances earned him Cricket Victoria’s Jack Ryder Medal for the second XI Player of the Season Award.  

Club Coach, Nick Jewell, had just retired as a Victorian Player and was doing some work with the Victorian Squad during the following winter.  Attending Training Sessions, he noticed that a number of young players were in attendance and he asked the Victorian Coach, Greg Shipperd, about them.  Greg responded that quite a few of them were playing Premier 2nds and 3rds and were regarded as “up and coming” types.  

Nick mentioned Scott, pointing out his Award in the season just passed, to which Greg said “invite him along”.  Not only did Scott attend but he undertook a rigorous fitness program with clubmate James Miller and extended that to include a dietary program designed by James’ (then) girlfriend – now his wife, Linda.  

When Scott returned to Adrian Butler Oval, his ‘puppy fat’ had disappeared!  Soon afterwards he was awarded a rookie contract with the Victorian Team.  In 2012~2013, Scott made his debut with the Victorian Team.

Since he broke into the Victorian team, he has only played 23 games with Frankston Peninsula – the scheduling of Shield games, pre-season One Day Cup and the Big Bash League mean that many first class players such as Scott are unavailable to play Club games.  Scott is now in his 15th season with Frankston Peninsula CC.  He has played 119 games (93 – 1st XI & 26 – 2nd XI), scored 1,337 runs at 20.57 including 3 50s and taken 190 wickets at 23.20 including 3 five wickets in an innings. 

He is the current captain of the club, having had that role for 7 of the past 8 seasons. 

In 2017, the Boland family discovered that grandfather, John Edward, was Aboriginal, from the Gulidjan tribe in the Colac area of Victoria.  After discovering this, Scott sought to embrace his indigenous heritage, playing in indigenous representative teams, and seeking to further educate himself on indigenous traditions.

Scott and his brother, Nick, who also played with Frankston Peninsula CC (Nick was cleared to Prahran CC at the start of the 2020~2021 season) joined the indigenous tour to England in 2018 which commemorated the Aboriginal team that toured the UK in 1868.  Both brothers carried the names of two brothers who were on that Tour – Scott – Johnny Cuzens – and Nick – Mosquito.

HOW SCOTT’s DEBUT TEST MATCH UNFOLDED:

Pat Cummins won the toss and sent England in to bat.  The skipper was in great form and soon had a couple of wickets.  Joe Root and Dawid Malan came together and started the fightback.  They put together 48 runs, then right on lunch, the skipper struck again – England was 3/61.  After lunch, Root was first to go, just after reaching his 50, then Mitchell Starc got right on top and was beautifully backed up by Nathan Lyon who finished with 3/26 – the same figures as Pat Cummins.

Australia started confidently with David Warner hitting the ball hard and Marcus Harris playing the sheet-anchor role.  At 57, shortly before Stumps, Warner (38) was dismissed.

On Day 2, Harris (76) continued while the star batsmen, Steve Smith (16) and Marnus Labuschagne (1) missed out, but with Travis Head (27) added 61 then Cummins and Starc added icing to the cake to give Australia a lead of 82 runs.  For England, Jimmy Anderson (23 overs, 4/33) was magnificent.  England, required to bat again lost Haseeb Hameed and Malan (1st ball) to Starc then Zak Crawley and night-watchman Jack Leach to Scott Boland – who only bowled the one over taking 2/1 – and England went to Stumps at 4/31 still 41 runs in arrears with Root and Ben Stokes the hope of the side.

Day 3 saw the most sensational cricket of all time – well, if there has ever been anything more so, I’d love to know of it!  Stokes was first to go – bowled by Starc, then Boland was reintroduced.  He had Jonny Bairstow dropped in the slips then trapped him in front – 6/60.  One run later he had Root out caught in the slips – 7/61 – Boland had 4/5 off 3 overs!  In his next over, Mark Wood was caught & bowled – third ball (8/65), then two balls later Ollie Robinson edged one to Labuschagne and it was 9/65 – Boland had 6/5.  Anderson got 2 off Scott’s last ball, Jos Buttler took a single off Cameron Green’s first ball, then 3 balls later Jimmy’s off stump was sent cartwheeling and it was all over – England all out for 68, losing by and innings and 14 runs and the Ashes 3-0 with two Tests still to play.  Mitchell Starc ended with 3/29 and Scott Boland with an unbelievable 6/7 off 4 overs.

At the end of the Match, Scott Boland was awarded the Johnny Mullagh Medal as Man of The Match – you couldn’t write a script covering what actually happened.

Scott Boland is one of the nicest young men that you could ever meet.  He is shy and mild mannered and as we saw after the match, he was quite happy to remain amongst his team-mates, rather than walk alone in front of them.

·      ACS secretary Wayne Ross is also Frankston Peninsula’s historian