Hope you are all ok back at OCC and not too cold in the English winter. Melbourne and Australia is fantastic and here’s a flavour of what I’ve been upto.
Back on the 23rd September 2017 I started my journey over to Australia. The club I was joining for the winter is called Edinburgh Cricket Club, located in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. The club runs 7 senior men teams, 1 senior women’s team and countless junior teams and part of the ECA competition (Eastern Cricket Association). We play at Brunswick Street Oval, also known as BSO and here’s a photo of the ground here… no sign of Frank on his roller here!!!
Whilst over here I’m staying with a mother (Victoria) and her son (Jerome). They are amazing, very welcoming and have made my time here really easy and fun. Victoria is a very successful author and has written several books on crime and cooking! Jerome is still in school and plays for the clubs U18 team and senior teams as well as at school. Coincidently, the house is just a 2 minute walk from the cricket club! Not much change to a 1 minute walk from my house back home to OCC!!!
We play on a synthetic wicket, which took me quite some time to adjust to due to the bounce that the pitch created and how the ball sits up slightly. The balls they play with are 2 pieces instead of 4 like back home and the amount of swing I get with a 2 piece compared to a 4 piece is ridiculous... I got quite the shock with my first delivery, in a friendly tournament I played in for Edinburgh.
In terms for the cricket, in my first game for the senior men I was playing 4th grade, against Burwood Uniting Canterbury. We scored 385 and bowled the opposition out for 229. In the game I managed to obtain the figures of 14-1-42-2, which for my first game I was happy with.
I also play for the senior women’s team and the first game of the season we were playing against Ringwood 2nds. We bowled first and my figures were 10-1-1-28. The opposition got 185 off the allotted overs. Batting at number 3, which is a big step up from 11, I got 14 and then got caught. Edinburgh only managed to get to 78. A disappointing result but one we would learn from.
In November, I got promoted up to 3rd grade. We lost unfortunately but I was pleased with my bowling efforts taking 1-19 from my 8 overs.
The season so far has been up and down in all honesty. In the men’s cricket I have consistently taking wickets and put on a few runs on at the end of the innings to help get a good total. However in the women’s cricket I’ve maybe not got as many runs as I would have liked though the wickets have continued to flow including by best figures of the winter, 10-1-29-4. We are now well into the second half of the season and the T20 comp and hopefully this will see me score a few more runs.
Coaching has been a very big part of my time here and I have been given 2 teams to coach. A girls Stage 3 team which consists of girls aged between 11-17 years old. They are a great group of girls to work with and they’ve been beyond what I could’ve hoped for. We are currently sitting at the top of the table undefeated!!!
I also have an U14C boys team which consists of boys aged 11-12. They’re too good to be playing in the U12 age group, so the C team was created. The boys, just like the girls are an excellent group and work together brilliantly but have only won 2 games so far.
Away from cricket, I’ve been lucky enough to go to some of the biggest sporting events and most iconic places in Australia including:
Boxing Day Test at the MCG including seeing Alistair Cook score his 100
The Melbourne Derby in the Big Bash
Australian Open Tennis
NYE in Sydney with fellow OCC players Alex Rankin, Alex Mason, Tom Hartley and Formby’s Ben Aitchson
Climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Melbourne Cup has been a big highlight for me here. It was a good day and I managed to meet up with some fellow OCC members as you can see here!
For New Year we moved over to Sydney and we got the opportunity to climb the harbour bridge! I was unfortunately stuck in front of Tom who made it his mission to scare me by jumping up and down on the wooden beams which to me didn’t seem safe!
Obviously a huge highlight was New Years Eve in Sydney. We went to Luna Park to watch the fireworks on the harbour deck which was an experience I will never forget! I also saw another member of OCC there to, Matt Morgan or as we all know him... Morgs!
More recent I have met a few Australian legends, such as Jim Higgs and Allan Border! Through Jim Higgs, I have played two games with for the crusaders and was lucky to get some great advice and tips for my bowling and batting! The Crusaders will be touring England is summer and have a fixture in for the diary against our first XI.
The former Australian captain, Allan Border uses the net facilities at the club with his son who plays for Singapore. He pops in the club from time to time and will chat to members of the club etc…
I’m absolutely loving my time over here. The club and family I’m staying with have made me feel really welcome and I’ve been lucky enough to experience some great events and places over here. Thanks to all the messages from people back home and I can’t wait to see you all back at OCC in early April for the start of the 2018 season!!