On Thursday the 12th of March, Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club announced their team of 125 Years at a celebratory event at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf.
Formerly known as Waverley District Cricket Club for over a century, the club has a proud history of being intertwined with the sporting and social fabric of the local community, with thousands of young men and women having passed through Waverley Oval, it’s Saturday morning coaching classes and its extensive junior catchment.
This connection with the community and the awe surrounding Waverley Oval has drawn many a notable player to the Eastern Suburbs, which presented the selection committee with the tough task of whittling through over 700 1st Grade players to come up with the 50 Contenders for the team, before finally selecting a squad of 12.
The selection committee, comprising of Jim Maxwell AM, Bob Horsell, Max Abbott and Sydney Morning Herald cricket journalist Malcom Knox were tasked with picking a balanced team from the 50 Contenders to win a two-day game for WDCC/ESCC, considering the players on-field performances and impact for the club and at representative level.
In order to be eligible for the 50 Contenders and by proxy the final team, players would have to meet a minimum criterion, that being that the player’s in question must have played a minimum of five seasons for the club.
This meant that a number of distinguished names were not available for selection having not met these criteria, such as Malcolm Marshall, who is widely regarded as one of Test cricket’s greatest ever fast bowlers, Geoff Boycott and Kepler Wessels.
The final squad of 12 as presented by WDCC/ESCC 1st Grade Player no. 538 and former Sydney Rooster Jimmy Smith was: Tony Greig (Captain), Harold Butler, Hanson Carter (wicket-keeper), Jack Fingleton, Syd Gregory, Brad Haddin, David Hourn, Vic Jackson, Alan Kippax, Mark Patterson, Kyle Thompson and David Warner.
David “Cracker” Hourn and Mark Patterson were particularly popular selections with both present on the day and receiving raucous applause upon receiving their team caps. Hourn is WDCC/ESCC’s leading 1st Grade wicket taker with an astounding 655, while Patterson is the club’s leading 1st Grade run scorer with 9681.
Outside of the team announcement the event was a great hit amongst the crowd, with Tony Squires one-on-one with special guest speaker Sir Ian Botham garnering great interest with the legendary Botham reflecting on his time with Team of 125 Years Captain, Tony Greig.
Having heard of our recent plight in Australia regarding the low amount of toilet paper available for purchase, Sir Ian was kind enough to present a roll as a gift. This was later auctioned off amongst items such as a signed Donald Bradman bat and a Queenstown holiday experience, the roll of toilet paper fetched $450 at auction.