Nunawading Cricket Club

Written by Ken Clark

Please provide a personal background including your time at Nuna, personal and career highlights and what you are doing now. Please include details of the best game you were ever involved in.

I had never been a cricketer but when Rob (our eldest son) wanted to start playing juniors (back in about 1986) I contacted Tim Moore at Nuna CC.  Tim was the Junior Section Manager and he was my first contact with the club.  My wife (Jill) and I used to go along and help score for the boys.  Kevin Steele was the coach and a still a senior player at the time.  A few years later our youngest son (Dan) started in the under 12’s - Mick McLachlan was the coach.  Rob and Dan used to get me down to the nets to bowl at them as often as they could.  Graeme Harris was one of the coaches of Rob’s Under 16 team and he asked me to have a game in the 8ths one week to make up the numbers.  I think it was about 1989 that I played that first game and after fielding from fine leg to fine leg for most of the day I was given the ball.  I bowled 16 overs and took 5/36 - I was hooked and continued to play until the end of the 2006/07 season. 

I am honoured to have played 150 games at Nuna and to have captained two premiership teams.  Obviously, those two games in particular were most memorable along with games I was able to play with Rob and Dan. I was also privileged to play games with many of the legends of the Club – I won’t name names because I am sure to leave somebody out. 

Probably the most exciting game I ever played in was a losing grand final side.  In about 1993 (I think) I had been captain of the 7ths and Steve Minton asked me to play in the last couple of games in the 6ths.  We made the grand final after Brian Reid (club coach at the time) batted us home in a terrific semi final.  In the Grand Final we were playing East Burwood-Bennetswood - they batted first and made 209.  We had a good team with players like Andrew Kent (now a 1sts player at Melbourne), Brian Reid and Colin James but unfortunately we found ourselves at 9 out for about 120 with Steve Minton and myself at the crease.  We survived the day to be 180 and had to front up again the next Saturday to face the new ball and rested bowlers.  It was very tense and we struggled along slowly until we got to 201 before Steve nicked an outswinger to the keeper – we had lost but it was an incredible game. 

Since retiring from cricket a couple of seasons ago (so that Phil Lord could be oldest at the club),  I have attempted to reduce my golf handicap – with only a modicum of success.

 Q2. You have been selected as a representative of the 95-96 D Grade and 98-99 C Grade Premiership teams.

a)    Can you please provide some information about the club at that time (e.g. who was President, how many teams, dominant players, funny incidents, club personalities, controversies etc). 

After about 18 years at the club I have seen a number of presidents and notable players.  Peter Jenkin was the president when I first started and following him there has been several others including Keith Joyce, David Cowell, Matthew Joyce and Steve Minton. 

It’s not easy to recall all the influential players over the years but some were; Pete Phillips, Brian Reid, Gary Saultry, Billy Saker, Steve Minton, Keith and Matthew Joyce, Darren Garoni, Darren Garret and Dave Stewart. 

There are a number of other key people around the Club over the years that have worked their butts off to make it a good place to be around including Kevin Steele, Leigh Callander, Stu Hamilton, Glen Mackie, Scott Millar and Tim Moore. 

There have been a number of personalities as well.  Some whose deeds on the end of season trip away will not be detailed but needless to say they are indelibly etched into the history of the Club.  There are others who carried on a treat when dismissed – throwing bats, headbutting fences, etc – not a pretty sight.  Then there have been some that were famous for deeds that did not portray the Club in a good light – the less said about those the better.  I also want to take this chance to make mention of Craig McDonald – certainly a long time personality around the Club - someone who gives his best no matter what the situation. 

Q3. What was the aftermath of that premiership ? How did the team go after that, did most of the players stay, any major changes etc 

In the lower grades, the younger players tend to move on up through the grades so there not a great deal of stability in team structure through each year.  However, I have been lucky enough to play a significant number of games with players like Tim Moore, Rob Legg, Rod Jones, Glen Mackie, Steve Minton and others. 

Q4. Please provide any other information you would like to such as a funny story or significant event/milestone during this period. 

Probably the most significant event that occurred in my time at Nuna was the Team of the Century celebrations.  Dave Cowell and David Longstaff were the drivers behind this significant event and it highlighted the proud, successful history of the Club.  Having most of the players there was fantastic. 

Q5. Finally, can you please note why you played cricket for Nunawading and the strengths of the Club at that time. 

Andrew Burke once said that for the Club to be successful you needed “people who were committed not just involved” and throughout my time at Nuna there has been that core of committed people.  Unfortunately that commitment has not been matched by some and that has lead to the gradual demise in the number of senior and junior sides.  

Another key strength is that it has been a family club – many fathers and sons have played at the club.  Personally, I have really cherished those games I have played with my boys.

I have been proud to tell people that I played cricket for Nunawading Cricket Club and there has not been a time when I have not enjoyed the company of the people around the Club.