2 February 2023

Teams of the century highlight the depth of Canberra cricket talent

| Tim Gavel
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Brad Haddin

Brad Haddin is one of the ACT’s most successful cricketing exports. Photo: File.

On top of the notables such as Brad Haddin, Michael Bevan, Mark Higgs and Jason Behrendorff, there is a long list of players who could have had equally spectacular careers had they left Canberra.

Peter Solway opted to play in the ACT rather than head to Sydney where there is no doubt he would have been a star.

cricketer holding a trophy

Peter Solway had a stellar career with the bat. Photo: File.

Solway hit close to 10,000 runs in his first-grade career with a high score of 339. He also scored 6597 runs in 183 games for the ACT.

It’s a remarkable record.

Then there’s all-rounder Greg Irvine who took five for 42 for the PM’s XI against New Zealand at Manuka in 1987.

Irvine also captained the ACT 63 times and has been awarded numerous honours over the years for his outstanding cricket performances.

Cade Brown hit 80 for the PM’s XI against India in the 2003/04 season, as well as scoring 9579 runs in first grade for Weston Creek Molonglo.

A framed tribute to cricketer Neil Bulger

A framed tribute to Neil Bulger’s cricket career. Photo: Supplied.

All-rounder Neil Bulger, in 135 first-grade games, took 253 wickets and hit almost 4000 runs, while John Bull scored 5445 and took 322 wickets in 212 games.

Jono Dean, who played for the Adelaide Strikers, scored 8194 first-grade runs in the ACT.

In the 1950s and 60s, Kev McCarty was one of the star players hitting 4114 runs and 566 wickets in first grade.

batsman taking off for a run

Jono Dean plied his trade with the Adelaide Strikers. Photo: Supplied.

Michael Frost scored 7724 runs, John Rogers 7500, and the list goes on.

All names are part of a list being considered for the ACT Team of the Century.

Haddin, Bevan, Lyon and Behrendorf take up four places, leaving seven places to be filled by players who may not be well known outside the ACT but are considered to be the equal of players who have gone on to higher honours.

The men’s team and the women’s side of the century will be announced on Saturday night (4 February) to celebrate 100 years of ACT cricket.

The women’s team will no doubt be dominated by the likes of Bronwyn Calver, who made her debut for the ACT in 1982 at just 12 years of age before going on to play three tests and 34 one-day internationals for Australia.

Bronwyn Calver celebrating a wicket against England

Bronwyn Calver celebrates after taking the wicket of Karen Smithies of England during the third One Day match in Hove, England. Australia won the match by 35 runs in July 1998. Photo: Craig Prentis/Allsport.

Kris Britt is another precocious talent. She played a test and 17 one-dayers and made her debut for the ACT at a mere 13 years of age.

Add Marjorie Moore to that list as well – she captained the ACT when she was 18 years old.

If nothing else, the announcement of the two teams provides an opportunity to highlight again the achievements of many players who paved the way for the current generation of ACT cricketers.

Cricket ACT Centenary Gala will be held at the National Museum of Australia on Saturday, 4 February from 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm. Tickets from Humantix.

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Vinson1Bernie11:03 am 03 Feb 23

Richard Done who was actually born in Canberra attended Canberra Grammar and played for Easts (now Eastlake) and played some games for NSW in the early 80’s

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