I played my first third grade cricket game on Saturday.

Being 14 and the wrong side of five foot, this opportunity came as a welcome surprise and brought about substantial butterflies. I haven’t had the best start to my first year in under 16’s cricket, scoring 19, 5 and 11 and managing to fracture my thumb along the way.

I played a handful of fourth grade games with Dad, but didn’t bat or bowl. I stood in a ‘keeper for a game, but I wasn’t satisfied, I wanted more.

Then I missed a pull shot, wore one on the thumb at that was it for a couple of weeks. I turned up but wasn’t very useful out on the turf.

The thumb is just about mended now. This week I was fully fit and ready to go in my under 16’s line-up against Gisborne.

It went pretty well. We lost the toss and bowled, but kept the bigger, stronger Gisborne lads to 186 without our strike fast bowler. I managed 3/30 off six overs, a figure I was pretty pleased with considering I went for twenty off my first two overs. It was midway through over number three that my coach and then officiating umpire got a phone call. Someone couldn’t play in the thirds, he said, and they needed a replacement.

Maybe I was just the closest kid to Jamie or he wanted to give me a go, I don’t know, but he replied that he had a kid all ready to go, and that Paddy would be at the Woodend Racecourse Oval at 1 PM.

I was considerably happy with that. More cricket, what a day!

Of course, we lost the toss at the thirds and I was out in the field again. In all-up spent 105 overs out in the sun.

I had a very good day on debut, taking 4/24 off ten overs as the mighty Woodsmen bowled out Hanging Rock for 121. What really stuck with me from that day (apart from a very sore back) was being able to play with a person that epitomises the Richmond Footy Club about as much as the great Captain Blood himself.

His name is Brett “Trout” Beattie, but no-one calls him Brett on the cricket field.

Trout is everything you’d expect from the quasi-leader of the Richmond cheer squad: passionate, emotional, vocal and big hearted. When there’s cricket to be played, Trout will give all of his mental and physical effort to win the game.

The there’s his car. He drives his beautiful yellow and black 1978 HZ Holden 308 to training, to games, everywhere. It typifies Trout as much as dodgy kicking typified Richo.

By the way, in case you missed it, Trout is vocal. Very much so. While a new batsman is taking guard, the umpire usually states the bowlers angle e.g. right-arm around the wicket. While Trout stands at his mark, the umpire begins telling the batsman Trout’s angle.

“Left arm –“


This induced laughing from the fielders, and broke the ice a bit after a few overs of relatively boring cricket.

His bowling is quirky and not at all expected from a batsman’s point of view. Trout stands where a left arm spinner would stand, maybe a few paces back. He takes a few steadying steps, and, as the fielders begin to walk in and the batsman looks, dead-focused, at the ball, he stops. Stretching forward, he leans with the ball at ankle height before rising and trotting in to bowl. He bowls little left arm seamers that move about in the air and kick off the pitch. I don’t know if ‘keepers go up to the stumps because they’re a chance for a stumping or they want to will Trout into bowling quicker.

Another one of Trout’s little vocal traditions is his never-ending banter with medium pacer P.K. It may have something to do with P.K (deliberately or not I do not know) dropping the ball when Trout’s waiting for it at the bowlers end.

Trout nabs 1/16 of his ten overs, spending the other 50 giving ceaseless support of his teammates. We bat next week on Saturday. I’m not expecting to bat, but you never know…


  1. Terrific Paddy. A big part of the fun of playing club sport is the people you play with and against. Love that you have a real crack at whatever you are doing – including writing.

    [Any chance of a photo of the 308 next week – or even now?]

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

  3. Grand Paddy. You had me back following my dad’s team around and doing the scorer’s job at your age. Stand in fielder for a few overs, until eventually on week we were a man short when some farmer couldn’t get off the header. Pads that went so high they made the “box” redundant. I remember the pad buckles came loose and my hands were shaking so much the short leg fieldsman had to do them up for me. They felt so sorry for my nerves they even repressed their giggles. Clean bowled third ball. He had to get one on the stumps eventually.
    You never forget your first.

  4. Great story. Reminds me of when I was employed as a professional long stop, youngest in the club but had the best arm even back then, used to get a couple of runouts every week.

    Go aground, great gunand a great car. Makes me wish I had kept our XT and just got a proper paint job like this :(

  5. iPad garblese – go trout, great guy, great car etc

  6. Great story and well written.
    Terrific stuff.

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