O'Dowd Declares No 1 2019 2020
Date of Event Geelong Cricket Association: Fri Oct 4, 2019 7:00AM

SEASON 2019-20





When Lara champion all-rounder Danny Hughes takes the field tomorrow against Murgheboluc he will be in uncharted territory. A solidarity wicket will lift him to 500 Division One 1st.X1 wickets. He will be the only player ever to take 500 wickets and score 6000 plus runs ALL AT THE SAME CLUB. The only player ahead of him is Darren Kiddle who Hughes is close to overtaking, Kiddle’s 6,066 runs  @ 26.7 and 507 wickets @ 19.2 taken at four clubs between 1984-2011. Hughes has 6,371 runs @ 29.7 and 499 wickets @ 17.6 from 1994. No current player is close to these records but Grovedale’s Gareth Yelland is well on the way with 5,032 runs and 393 wickets.



During the winter months the Geelong cricket fraternity was saddened with the death of Newtown & Chilwell batsman, Murray Box. He played 120 games for 2,823 runs @ a healthy 25.3 with a single century of 101 against Geelong City in season 1956-57, his playing span between 1951-1966 where he made his debut on 13th.October 1951 against Bellarine. He was a member of 4 premiership sides, only 26 players to play in 5 premierships or more. He was also a Country Week premiership player in his one Carnival of 1957 playing with greats Allan Connoley, Geoff Walker, Neil Chapman, Frank Pike, Doug Kerger and Gordon McKay.



Season 2019-20 will be devoid of a star who has played GCA 1sts for the last 23 years in Barry Tsitas who decided to terminate his career in last season’s losing grand final for Grovedale against powerhouse East-Belmont. His brilliant bowling average last season of 13.9 was almost identical in his first full season for Manifold Heights in 2002-03 of 14.1. Making his debut for East-Belmont in 1995-96 against Newtown & Chilwell on 24th. February 1996, he also played four seasons at Newtown and amassed a staggering 526 career wickets @ 18.6 including a best of 8/14 against Bell Park in 2004-05, taking 7 wickets or more twice, thirteen bags of 5 wickets and 65 times taking 3 or 4 wickets in an innings. He played in four premierships, all at Grovedale. During his 230 games he hit just the one 50, precisely and took 127 catches, being just shy of the record of 130 by North Geelong’s Alf Clark.



Despite the rekindling of enthusiasm for turf cricket over the first two seasons, many matches were contested with teams of 9 players or less, a number of batsmen registered as “absent” on the scoresheet. Both Magpies and Non-Descripts failed to affiliate. At a meeting at the Victoria Hotel, the GCA committee decided the four team competition would play 5 rounds, each 3 day games. The opening round between Capulets and Geelong was transferred to the Friendly Societies Reserve on a matting wicket (beside Corio Oval) “this action necessary in view of the absence of water to moisten the hard Corio Ovals”. Charles Brownlow was forced to play for Geelong, the number eleven hitting a to-be career best 32 (Brownlow playing just 25 games between 1896-1906 with 176 runs @ 8.0 and taking 14 wickets with a best of 4/4.



With the opening two-day games in recent seasons marred by inclement weather, the GCA was innovative in scheduling four one-day matches in October. Neil Petrie, John Spence, Peter Kelly and Damian DeGrandi all returned from VCA clubs, Stephen Sutcliffe transferred from Newtown to South Barwon whilst North Shore-Norlane’s Colin Luttrell was coaxed to neighbouring North Geelong. North tail-ender Eddie Cumper played the innings of his life, North Shore all but finished at 9/105 chasing North Geelong’s mighty 9/200, sensationally victorious, Cumper and Ross Aylmer (141no) amassing a 95 run last wicket stand, Cumper contributing a stonewall but gallant 3no.



Last updated: Saturday October 5, 2019 9:34AM
Author: Peter Edwards