‘Mitch makes his mark…’ by KB Hill

December 2009:

It’s a typical Thursday net session at Bruck Cricket Club……..quickies charge in with match-simulated intent….batsmen flail with reckless abandon……nary a word is spoken, as fielders dart this way and that in pursuit of flying ‘projectiles’…….

Amidst this organised chaos a voice rings out: “Mitch, get outta there……! “

A tiny youngster scampers to safety…..

“I was always being yelled at by the old man for getting too involved in senior training,” says Mitch Perry. “No wonder……I would’ve been about nine at the time…..”


28th November 2023:

Victoria are on the threshold of a convincing Sheffield Shield win, as the South Australians slump to 9/185…..still 73 runs shy of victory…..

But tall Croweater Wes Agar has other ideas and they push to within 19 of their target…..There’s a sniff of an upset around the Adelaide Oval…..Agar’s aggressive innings of 46 in just 26 minutes has swung the pendulum somewhat……

But it’s game over when a yorker from Victorian speedster Perry dismantles the stumps of the defiant right-hand all-rounder……




Mitch Perry was attending Wangaratta West Primary School when he began playing with Bruck U12s in the Wangaratta and District Cricket Association…

“I was flat-out holding the bat at that stage….. it was a bit too heavy for me…. but I loved being out there. Gary Wilson was the U12s coach and I still remember some of the kids I played with and against…….like Dylan Landgren, Jayden Oates, Fraser Ellis, and the Willett boys (whom I’ve come across again in Premier cricket)……”


Christmas in Wangaratta: A prized Gray-Nicholls


He’s been a sports fanatic all his life as is his dad Darren who guided him towards playing footy, cricket and a bit of basketball.

He’d just finished Grade 4 when the family departed for Melbourne and he continued his involvement with Ferntree Gully C.A. club Knoxfield, whilst beginning to progress – with alacrity – up the sporting ladder.

As a talented goal-kicker, Mitch lined up in a forward pocket for the Victorian Under 12 Schoolboys side……Three years later, with a rapidly-developing physique, he was playing at centre half-forward for the Under 15 Schoolboys….


The Wangaratta Warriors Basketball rep.


A Victorian guernsey for the U15 State Schoolboys


“At that stage, as a mad St Kilda fan, I was inspired by the feats of Nick Riewoldt…..It’s interesting, when you look back, to see how many of the kids in those sides got drafted, and have done really well in League footy….” he says.

“I was faced with a pretty tough call to choose between the two sports……..Mum wanted me to stick with footy; Dad was keen for me to focus on cricket….”

“I opted for cricket, and I definitely think, in hindsight, I’ve made the right decision……”

Mitch was just 16 when he made his Premier First XI debut for Richmond……He couldn’t have been more impressive. He took a wicket with his first ball, snared five wickets in the first innings, and three in the second, as the Tigers grabbed outright points against Melbourne Uni.

The honours came quickly…..…Selection in the Victorian U17 and U19 teams…..Earning a State contract …..He had just turned 17 when he was chosen in an Australian Under 19 squad for a couple of matches against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to play as I was injured, but it’s interesting to reflect that Will Sutherland, Jonathan Merlo and Jason Sangha were also in that side….We’ve come through the ranks together, and are all playing regular First Class cricket….”

He’d performed consistently in 25 District games for Richmond when he was selected to make his Sheffield Shield debut against South Australia aged 20.

What an introduction to the big-time!

“We sat in the Adelaide Oval dressing-rooms for two and a half days, watching Marcus Harris (239) and Will Pucovski (255*) put together an opening stand of 486…..Geez it was impressive batting!……Travis Head scored a ton in their second innings to avert the outright defeat……”

Mitch had taken 2/35 on Day One, to make his mark on the game….

“We were a very young side at that stage,” he says…..”Some of us were gifted a few games that we probably didn’t deserve, and I was really grateful for that……Hopefully I can repay the favour to Victoria and start helping them win a few games in the future…..”


A slight dip in his form halfway through last season saw Mitch axed from the Victorian side…….

But he bounced back strongly to take 19 wickets in the back half of 2022/23, including one haul of 8/120 against South Australia:

“Yeah, it was warranted when I was dropped, I reckon…..Before last Christmas I wasn’t bowling overly great, and there were a few things in my action that we definitely needed to look at…….I did plenty of work on that….. I think, since getting dropped, I’ve shown improvement, and hopefully, can continue to take good strides forward……”



Obviously, he did enough to impress the national selectors as he was chosen in the Australia A team which contested a series with New Zealand A in March this year. He captured 12 wickets in the two games.

“It was great to get a taste of international cricket playing against a formidable Kiwi side…..” he says. “We had one game against them over there, then a return match in Queensland…….”

“They had plenty of blokes who’d played Test cricket and we also had a good side with Peter Handscombe, Matt Renshaw, Joel Paris, Mitch Swepson, Aaron Hardie and the like……It was a really good learning experience…..”

He has continued his strong form into the Shield games in ‘23/‘24…. The Vics recovered from successive early-season innings defeats to hit form in recent matches…..They currently sit three points shy of top spot.

It’s on the back of a relatively young attack which includes Perry, Will Sutherland, Fergus O’Neill and spinner Todd Murphy……

“It helps that we also got Peter Siddle back this year….When Scotty Boland is away on national duty we need that older, experienced fellah in the side…..But there are certainly plenty of younger guys that are pushing to get into the team….” Mitch says.

His status in the Victorian side at present is that of a bowler who can bat a bit………”I’ve had to learn to defend a lot because I’ve been handed a regular night-watchman role……Our coaches are pretty hard on us to continue to work on our batting….”

“Who knows…..maybe one day I’ll turn myself into a bowling all-rounder…”


As the T20 BBL caravan moves into full swing around the country, Mitch is currently based in Sydney with the Sixes squad (to whom he switched from the Renegades this season)…

“We’ve got a very strong team, so it’s going to be hard to push into the XI. But white-ball cricket for me at the moment is just trying to learn as much as I can off the guys that have played plenty of it….



“If I do get a chance I’ve gotta take it with both hands……Coming from red-ball cricket and bowling in the nets, it’s pretty different…..”

“You’ve got to have a few different varieties – slower balls and the like – that you can go to when you’re under the pump….”

He and Cam McClure, another quickie in the Victorian squad, are also dabbling in the clothing trade….

“Cam suggested: ‘Why don’t we have a crack at starting our own clothing brand?”……..”I said: Okay, we’ll see where it takes us…….So ‘Fortuna St’ was born….It’s Clothing, Shoes and Streetwear….that sort of stuff…”

“He’s taken responsibility for it at the moment because I’ve been away with the Vics and the Big Bash….He’s all over it…It’s going alright, and we’re starting to sell a bit of stuff…..It’s pretty exciting to see where it’ll lead to….”


Mitch has his eye on heading to England during the next off-season.

“I was meant to go over to play County Cricket at the end of the New Zealand A series but I pulled out because I was pretty ‘cooked’…….Cricket Victorian didn’t really want me to go in the end, either….”

But in the meantime he’d like to fit in a few games with Richmond when the opportunity arises. He was appointed Club captain this season but hasn’t been available for a game yet because of his State duties.

“I always love it when I go back……When I came there at 16 I never imagined that I’d get to captain Richmond at 23…….It’ll be a big thrill…..”

And what of possible representative honours for the big paceman ?

“Look, the bowling stocks are pretty full at the moment…..Ask any young quick in Australia if they want to play for Australia….If they say no, they’re in the wrong business…..”

“I’ve got to keep putting in the performances on the park, and let the rest do the talking……Hopefully, one day….”

“Even if it was for just one game, in whatever format, I’d be absolutely rapt…….”



This story appeared first on KB Hill’s website On Reflection and is used here with permission.
All photos sourced from KB Hill’s resources unless otherwise acknowledged.

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  1. Enjoyable read thanks KB – Mitch certainly has huge potential

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