Anecdotes – 30 December

Brotherly love

There is nothing like seeing 2 brothers batting together and being involved in a comical batting partnership. Picture this. Rowan Dickinson (C3) batting with older brother Callum with the Team 9/134 (Vs Thornleigh, 5th & 12th October 2019). Rowan has just taken 10 runs off the last over and was on fire. Enter older brother Callum who wasn’t going to be outdone by Rowan. On the 2nd ball of the next over, Callum pushed the ball gently to a very short mid-off and decided here was the opportunity to get Rowan runout.

The tactic worked. On his way to being run-out easily, Rowan screamed out made a suitable comment “You F…… idiot” that was heard in the next suburb.

The positive is that it fired Rowan up who said he was going to get 5 wickets. He got 4/16 in 8 overs and cleaned bowled 3 of them.

Week 2 – the sequel

Come Day 2 and Rowan was obviously still fired up. After Thornleigh were ‘invited’ to bat again Rowan was again the main destroyer with 4/11 (6 overs) and giving him match figures of 8/27 in 14 overs. While just missing out on the rare 10 for the match (only 52 times in our history), it is a great result. Unfortunately, his Captain, (Buzz) now knows how to fire him up – get him cranky and make sure he bats with his brother every match.


Record family numbers

In Round 2 we had 5 Hando family member set a Club record to be the first family of 5 members – Harry, Sam, Phill (Dad), Jack and Tom – play in the same Team and set a Club record that may never be broken.

It doesn’t stop there. All 5 players bowled and they took a combined 6/45! The best on the day was the youngest, Harry, who took 2 for 6 off 3 overs to get the boys across the line for an exciting win.

But wait, there is more. When the Schwartzel’s also play we will have the real opportunity of having the 5 Hando’s plus 3 x Schwartzel’s – Warren (Dad) and twins (Matt & Daniel).

This still has a long way to go from the early teams of the Association though. The South Colah Cricket Club had 18 sons of Patrick and John Duffy (Duffy Ave) of Thornleigh, Dural CC was sustained by the seven sons of Thomas Best, Pennant Hills CC by the 10 sons of Arthur Thompson (Thompson’s Corner) and Castle Hill CC by the eleven sons of John James.


Profile of a centurion

Rohit Ninan (B1) scored his 2nd ton for West Penno (Round 4, 19th October 2019) with 109* which is our 485th ton. What makes this even more special is that he opened the innings and batted the entire the day – what a fantastic effort. So what is Rohit’s secret and how does he go out and dominate a quality attack? The secret has been unveiled:

  • Pads – use your 14 year old brother’s pads that are way too small but don’t hinder running between wickets
  • Bats – well let’s leave this one. Imagine what would happen if the bat actually had a grip on it!

“Don’t sledge my son”

Andrew Morris (A2 Blue) opens the batting with his son Zac and they are an awesome partnership. Andrew finished the day (Round 3, 26th October 2019) with his 4th ton but had motivation. During the game, against Hornsby at The Glade, one of the Hornsby players referred to young Zac, in derogatory terms as a 10 year-old while he was keeping. Not a good decision. As Andrew reminded the Opposition player “Don’t sledge my son” – this gave him the motivation to play a match winning innings.


The Sheep Station Cup

Round 5, 2nd & 9th November 2019) is a special one. We had not 1 but 2 ultimate clashes between our own in the Sheep Station trophy.

We have a history of our Teams playing against each other since the 1990s. It wasn’t though until 16 December 2017 that the Sheep Station Trophy was formally introduced. The game was an A2 fixture between Rick ‘Couldn’t call a cab’ Turner (A2 Blue) and Simon ‘Couldn’t toss a salad’ Smyth (A2 Red) – two of the worst ‘Tossers’ in our Club. For the record, Rick won the toss but lost the match played at Dural Park.

What is different this week is that we have 2 Teams playing against each other in the same Round, simultaneously and at the same time:


  • A2 Red (Andy) Vs Blue (Gunny) – at The Glade
  • D1 Red (Diggers) Vs Blue (Rob) – Greenway Park – pictured above.

We have a magnificent trophy that was made by Rick Turner that will somehow have to be shared between Teams.

While on the Sheep Station Cup

Another bit of Club history in the A2 Sheep Station Cup – Skippers, Michael Gunn and Andy Meikle pictured. For the first time in our history we had a father (Ben Meikle) and son (Andy) play in the same Grade, against each other (Round 4, 2nd & 9th November 2019). On every other occasion the father / son combinations have played together. Anyway, there is more to the story.

Playing at the Glade Oval, says it all, Andy’s Team (Red’s) are bowling and out comes Ben to face his son. The Match Report from Gunny says it all:

“One of the moments of the innings though would have to be Ben ‘fine wine’ Meikle, who only gets better with age, getting completely bamboozled and bowled by a wrong-un, bowled by his son of all people, for a golden duck. Couldn’t have written a better script.

‘Not happy’ Ben later came on to bowl – back to Gunny:

“Defending 143, the Blues were actually quietly confident of making a match of it….Better Meikle then entered the scene, looking for redemption. Boy was the old fella fired up.

Benny put on a bowling Masterclass, picking up 5/35 (12 overs) putting us in a position to win this match. After Ben picked up one of his wickets, Andy walked to the crease. This was the moment for Benny. Yeah he didn’t get him out. He hit him for a 4 actually.”

Anatomy of a high score

On Saturday, 9th November 2019 we had a near record 3rd wicket C1 Grade partnership of 257* – falling just short of the current record of 259 scored back on 22/10/2011.

The partnership was by Campbell Wallace with 176* & Matt Schwartzel 83*. For Campbell’s ton. It is also the equal 12th highest score in our Seniors History. The highest score is 225 scored by Ken Smith in 1956/57. His score included 26 x 4s & 1 x 6.

The story behind the scenes is what makes this interesting.

An update from his Skipper, Phill Hando follows:

“This is Campbell’s first season with WPHCCC and I didn’t get him to play for his batting. He is actually a bowler but due to breaking his leg 6 or 8 weeks ago (a small fracture while in a hurdles race) I have put him at first slip and not let him bowl.

 He volunteered to open the batting with Jack as no one else wanted to. He has played cricket for years with the school (had last season off to do athletics) and has never hit a 50.

 Also hasn’t played cricket for 2 years concentrating on Athletics for Kings

 So the secret to success is to break you leg, not pickup a bat for 2 years, volunteer to open eth batting because no one else wanted to  and go out and score 176* – sounds pretty easy actually.

 I wish I could say I knew he was a batsmen all along!”

Who doesn’t she know?

Scattered throughout our Photo Gallery are photos of Jane Bish (Club Executive Member, mother of Dylan in C1’s, wife of Julian, CEO of the Bish household and all-round Super Mum). Anyway, last Sunday JB popped down to Mark Taylor Oval to watch the 1st Grade T20s involving Northern District CC. Apart from catching up with Mark Tubs Taylor; Peter Taylor and other well-known identities along comes the GOAT – Nathan Lyon.

Usually people like Nathan get asked for photos every day of the week and avoid them. But, when JB asked for a photo the opportunity for Nathan to be photographed with our own Super Mum was too good to resist. So, the accompanying photo shows a beaming Nathan and an equally impressed JB.

An Ode to Schoolies

We all know Schoolies is part of the Calendar and many of us have had kids that we are thankful to see come back in one piece but…it does create an annual headache for Captains of Cricket Teams – no just ours. Buzz Burrows, C3 Skipper penned this Ode to acknowledge Schoolies – from a Captain’s perspective:

“Fellow Skippers, don’t ya just love Schoolies time of year! Why the hell can’t they work it around the cricket season? Veterans like Snumpty and I know the true value of planning things like weddings and childbirth to ensure they don’t ever fall within the season proper! Gen Z need to shape up and do the hard yards, sacrifice a boozy fun time at Surfers so they can chase a beaten up piece of leather around a goat track in South Turramurra! Character building I believe it’s called.

 I digress.”

Space Cadets

Praneel Singh (D2)

We haven’t had a Space Cadet recently, but this week it just happens to be one of the best players in D2 – Praneel Singh. The following quote from Captain Mike says it all:

“Praneel next time you decide to make a late decision to run your Captain out, remember who has all the power in this team!!!!! So we are 3 for 50 at the end of play. We have 7 wickets in hand which should allow us to get the remaining 53 runs required to win.”

The bottom line – if you are going to be involved in any runout – make sure it isn’t your Captain.

An Opposition Captain

We rarely mention the Opposition in this piece but had to this week. In one of our higher Grades, the Opposition were 2/275 overnight and decided to bat on. There is an old saying that if you can’t defend 270+ then the Opposition deserve to win. But…the skipper, who happened to be on 89* overnight, batted on until he got to a personal milestone of 100 – giving us a target of 310 in 60 overs. The obvious result – a draw.

Another Opposition Captain

We usually reserve this great honour for one our own – it is like a badge of honour, just ask the great Eric Junkkari who has been to space and back more times than anyone. Alas, this week an Opposition Captain is the winner.

In the C3 game just completed, the Opposition were 7/44 overnight, chasing 144. Before play started, the Opposition Captain advised that their last remaining batsman was unavailable this week and that he was declaring the innings closed and that he was sending us back in to bat.

Buzz then gave this offer a nanosecond’s thought and cordially advised that actually, they could have a 2nd bat as he enforced the follow on! Somehow they hadn’t reckoned on that?! The result – they were rolled for 40 before the first drinks break and we got 10 points.


In December we reported that the Tamworth Carnival (U14s) was cancelled due to the drought. This week we were advised that the U16 Stan Austin (Taree) Carnival was cancelled for the first time. The official advice from the Manning Junior Cricket Association gives a great insight into the conditions our cricketing friends from the bush are experiencing:

“The Manning Junior Cricket Ass needs to apologize that due to the drought conditions on the Mid North Coast which are the worst we have experienced we need with great reluctance to cancel the Stan Austin Carnival for 2020.

 The Mid North Coast Council have brought in level 4 water restrictions which bans use of water outside.

 The lack of rain will not only hinder the preparation of turf wickets but also affecting the outfields, we have had to cancel the use of several grounds because of the dangerous condition of the outfields, one ground has cracks in it that a golf ball would easily go down.

 We are cannot see any improvement of the situation in the near future according to the forecasts. We have had 2 withdrawals, 1 drought related.”

“I am simply in awe”

It is not every day you get the chance to play against a childhood hero but it happened in the D1 Game on the weekend when Greg “Yellow Wiggle’ Page played the boys. To quote Skipper Rob Hanich:

“D1 Blues have quite a few younger players in the squad. Each of them grew up watching and listening to the Wiggles. Today was a bit of a starstruck day for them. They could not believe they were playing against the original Yellow Wiggle Greg Page –here.

At one point while batting and facing Greg, Pravin could be heard turning to Greg and saying “I am simply in Awe!”.

Anyway a true gentleman Greg “Yellow Wiggle” Page agreed to have a photo taken with his fans.

The only disappointment is that Greg did drive e in a big red car. It was grey actually and not very big.

Lauren Kua – our latest Australian Representative

In December 2019, Lauren Kua (pictured with Lauren Smith & Andrew Miedler) was selected in the Australian U18 Women’s side. Lauren is now our 2nd WPHC Junior (behind Lisa Sthalekar) and our 3rd WPHC alumni (Denise Annetts) to be chosen for an Australian side.

Lauren played with us between 2015/16 and 2017/18. She scored 429 runs @ 61.29 with a top score of 46 retired. As a bowler, she took 15 wickets @ 14.73. In 2016/17 she was named as our Junior Girls Player of the Year.

She now plays Brewer Shield for Gordon. Testing the memory, Lauren was about 2 or 3 years under age throughout her Juniors career.

Well done Lauren on this wonderful achievement and still a lot more to come.

Abandoned weekend

All cricket was cancelled this weekend (21 December) due to forecast high temperatures (43-44 degrees, poor air quality and the closure of grounds in the Hornsby Shire due to ‘Catostrophic’ fire risk conditions.  This is only the 3rd time in our Association History that all games have been cancelled.

The most recent time this has happened was on Saturday 11th February 2017 due to predicted heat. Temperatures hit 46.9 degrees at Penrith.

An extract from our History provides an insight into the worst instance – way back in 1913:

“Fire has been a constant in our Bushland Shire. The worst recorded fires were on Monday 27 January 1913 when the whole of Hornsby was almost burned and saved only by a wind shift. The worst fires of more recent times were between August 1993 and January 1994 – now referred to as the ‘Eastern Seaboard Fires’. On one weekend during this period the fires were so bad that all games were called off to allow players to be able to fight the fires or potentially save homes. There were also concerns about player welfare due to the heavy smoke pall over the Shire”

Up there with the best

Andrew Morris (pictured, right, with Steve Quanborough) scored his 2,000th run on the weekend and earned a place in the record books along the way. He has now scored 2,004 runs in 49 innings @ 47.71. If this isn’t impressive enough it is by a bloke who hadn’t played for almost 20 years before picking up the bat in 2016/17 when his son, Zac started playing Seniors.

But wait, there is more….

  • Andrew is ranked at number 91 in our all-time top run scorers (after just 3 years)
  • He is the 2nd fastest to reach 2,000 runs, taking just 49 innings. The fastest to do so is the great Laurie Tuckerman (A1) in 1951/52 who took 39 innings
  • The next best is Matt Venables (A1 & A2) who did it in 56 innings between 1991/92 and 1998/99. Matt retired at just 24 years of age
  • His average of 47.71 is 2nd only to Laurie Tuckerman (59.3) for players to have scored more than 2,000 runs.

So by any measure, Andrew is up there with our highest achievers.

1,000 Junior Teams

An amazing achievement for our Junior Boys. This season we entered our 1,000th Junior Team since entering our first Junior team in 1947/48 – we have now entered 1,021 Junior Teams. Other Clubs are unlikely to have this information but it is very likely that no other Club in Australia would have clocked up anything like this number.