Nunawading Cricket Club

Nuna CC Life Member Derek Clark

 

Derek Clark with his life long cricket mates

Derek first played for Nunawading in 1980 and was part of the last Shield Grade Premiership in 1983/84, alongside NCC luminaries such as John O’Sullivan and Keith Joyce (also a young David Saker).   Derek also won the batting average in Shield grade in 82/83.

He played until 1993, before work took him to Thailand for 8 years, where he met his wife Pupae. Derek returned with his family in 2000 and has been one of our outstanding performers since then.

The raw numbers of Derek’s playing career as at Dec31 2016 are as follows:

He had played 288 games and  has the following stats:

Batting:  308 innings, 41 not outs, 5156 @ 19.31

Bowling: 1801.2 overs, 351 overs, 300 wickets @ 17.74.

The raw figures don’t do justice to the fiercely competitive nature Derek brings to every contest.  He is regularly called on by his captains to bowl at least 20 overs straight as they know every ball will be delivered on an immaculate line and length.  When added to his subtle changes of pace, his ability to work out a batsman’s weaknesses and his non compromising achievement of the high standards he sets for himself, he is the first option every time when an example needs to be set.

As a batsman Derek never gives his wicket away.  You can tell by the repeated smashing of his bat on the pitch as the bowler runs in that he is intensely focused on each ball.  You know that if the team is in trouble that Derek will always be up for the fight.  He has batted from opener down to no 8 as will always do what the team requires.  Derek’s contribution in the winning C Grade premiership typifies his contribution.  He opened the batting on the first day and got us off to a solid start which set the platform for our winning score.  Then on the second day he opened the bowling to two left handers which threw them off their usual game.  His tight bowling set the standards for our juniors who followed his example of sustained pressure and they bowled us to a famous victory. No doubt he would have been proudest of the fact that he shared the premiership with his son who also made a significant contribution to the win.

Derek has been a great example to our upcoming juniors both in how to play the game and also how to politely sledge.  He has upset many a team by incorrectly calling them by a different name.  So for example he will say let’s get the first Blackburn South wicket when we are playing Blackburn North.  The competition’s biggest sledger said Derek had outdone him when he came up with that recently.

He is also invaluable in teaching the rules of the game.  He often points out that if the batsmen misses the ball and it hits the stumps then it is out,  “that is the rule”.

One memorable moment was when Derek had not finished his cup of tea at the break, so he took the cup AND saucer onto the ground and continued to drink it between balls whilst fielding at first slip !

This season, he has shown that he still has what it takes.  Up until the Christmas break Derek is averaging 30 with the bat and take 14 wickets, including a 6 wicket haul in the 2nds just recently.

Besides his playing contribution, he has served on the committee for several years including 3 years as treasurer.  He continues to help the club though not on committee by controlling our ordering and selling of playing stock.  He also has been a part of the group that has resurrected our junior program over several years to the point where it is now thriving.

In summary, Derek typifies the desire to win, playing skill and contribution to the running of the club off the field that so many of our life members have done in the past and is worthy of having that honour bestowed on him.