Born again cricketer

Footy in winter, cricket in summer. Quintessential. Time honoured. The way it should be.  Like most Victorian kids growing up in the 90s/00s I would spend the cold months living and breathing football and then when the place would finally warm up it was backyard and club cricket. And then like many other youngsters, I stopped. Cricket at least. Footy was always number one. Still is. Summertime seemed better spent mucking around with mates or cooling off somewhere involving a large body of water and exposed skin. Standing out in a field for a whole Saturday chasing a hard leather cherry around? No thanks. So at age 13 I was done with cricket, barring the annual Christmas day family stoush. And save for the rare few series’ when Australia would be challenged, didn’t care much for watching it either. So, to paraphrase Billy Birmingham, it was “piss off, I’m out!”

Fast forward about ten years and a big decision was made: a comeback to cricket. On the comeback scale it wasn’t quite on par with Warney (he’s also got me for quantity too) but a return nonetheless. The decision was made, as many are, as a result of alcohol consumption.  Presentation night at the Moe footy club and a chat with my teammate Aidan was the catalyst. Aidan is a good young cricketer and, at 19, is A grade captain of cross town rivals Newborough, where my brother John is B grade captain. Apparently the club is struggling for numbers and is in danger of folding and, being the generous bloke that I am, I offered up my less than renowned services. The next day I woke up with a sore head and a feeling of deep regret, I’m sure we all know the feeling. My thought process was something along the lines of: ‘Why did I do that? I can’t commit to this. I am NOT a cricketer!’ Either way the die was cast and I had to live with the results of my drunken boasts of cricketing prowess.

A couple of wet weekends and a half an hour net session later and I made my debut in C grade against Morwell. That I hadn’t been to training and knew only about half of my teammates names didn’t really seem to matter to anyone. Coming in at about 5/30 probably wasn’t ideal but I was reasonably confident of being able to manipulate the bowling being served up. Taking guard I was bowled first ball and all of a sudden it was 6/30. It was all happening! A tad embarrassing but at least I got a nice little afternoon stroll to the crease and back. To my great surprise I actually had a good time in the field. As a kid I hated fielding but now I was throwing myself around in the field like a slower, less co-ordinated Jonty Rhodes. Needless to say we were flogged but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I followed it up with a few more games in C grade making some solid contributions with bat and ball and even started to go training! Like a born again cricketer I have rediscovered a love of the game. A couple of weeks ago I made my B grade debut, feeling slightly out of my depth. Dropping an early catch wasn’t a good start but somehow I got a bowl. Having John as captain probably didn’t hurt. And to mine and everyone else’s bewilderment I picked up 4 wickets with what would generously be called medium pace. I was loving it! And I even peeled off a few runs. What are the odds of that? While not expecting a call from John Inverarity any time soon I’m wrapped that I decided to have another crack at this cricketing caper.

Footy in winter, cricket in summer. The way it should be.



By Michael Parker


  1. Great stuf, Michael !

    By the sounds of it, you have many many
    more summers of cricket ahead of you.

Leave a Comment