• A legendary person is someone whose story becomes bigger than they are.” So begins the website of the EJ Whitten foundation. Today was the story of Big Dog; legend of the looping leg break, foundational pillar of the Aussie Quokkas and all round good bloke.

    Recent revelations showed the EJ Whitten AFL legends game only paid 6 cents of each dollar donated to charity, the rest being strangely unaccounted for. About time the Quokkas had a legends game then…

    Lonely and Bowlen opened the Legends batting. Sadly for the All Stars Ed opened the bowling. 6 balls later Lonely was halfway to retirement.

    Snipper initially stemmed the bleeding but another 9 balls and Lonely was off for a rest.

    Bowlen stuck around for a little longer before falling to Mo for 12, and Gregor smashed a quick 17 before Nick AW took his bails off. The came the Dog, immediately off the mark with a single and………… 2 overs later got another. Student Pup was in need of a lie down after the long walk to the middle was more effort than has made in months. He quickly got his wish after embarrassingly failing to get off the mark, more embarrassingly he was caught by Ed.

    Like a disabled child at Disneyland, Howie fulfilled his wish of stepping out for the Quokka’s. Partnered by the Dog, the entertainment was less Space Mountain and more spinning teacups but the scoreboard trundled along.

    Ed, resplendent in his new-found catching ability, replaced Tuesday with the gloves. Howie was an immediate victim after a solid 20 and Big Dog paddled to 18 before being gleefully taken from behind by Ed for 18.

    As John Farnham and Olivia Newton-John found out at last year’s ARIA’s, Jay and Local didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Gow who swept all before him and took both in the same over.

    Capping the Legends innings was the beauty and beast partnership of Cat & Dutchy, with the beast scoring quickly before being caught in the ‘other’ covers by Phantom. Celebrations were short-lived however as Lonely returned and while Cat intelligently kept the singles ticking over, Lonely terrorised an unfortunate JRod Death Over which got tonked all over Alphington and left the All Stars with 167 to chase.

    After a prawn and fancy salad lunch (my how we’ve changed!) opening partnership of Ed and Alex did well to see off the opening swing of Local and Lonely (could someone get his kid on the pitch to distract him please!).

    Up stepped Jay (who had clearly been saving his energy for bowling), and had Alex caught by Greg on 14. Snipper made a quick-fire 10 but like so many before him fell to Big Dogs bird scarers, then Jay returned to take Nick AW for 1.

    The All Stars were looking shaky but Mo managed to settle some nerves before being undone by the reinvigorated Pup for 14.

    Howie’s disability eventually got the better of him, his hamstring forcing an early bath. Ed, hamstrung only by his ability, managed 20 before caught by Dutchy off Pup.

    It wouldn’t be a Quokkas game without a friendly run out. JRod duly obliged by playing limpet as Rev was almost close enough to kiss him having run all but one of the required 22 yards between the stumps.

    With a daunting run chase ahead of them, Tuesday (8) and Phantom (9) went down swinging but failed to partner JRod for any length of time. When Nick AW returned as #11 Jay made doubly sure by bowling him again to finish off proceedings with JRod ending up not out on 35 having sensibly stayed out in the middle to avoid the still-fuming Rev.

    All up the Legends won by 40, with some lovely bowling from Jay (3-8) and Pup (who took 2 wickets but despite being sent 6 photos of the scorecard not one of them shows how many runs he went for!)

    All in all a great day, good to catch up with old faces and a reminder of why we all play cricket, and why many of us no longer do!

  • The first Quokkas mixed game was held on the weekend, with female friends and supporters of the team selected to make up two teams.

    Cat was appointed Captain of Team B, the victors on the day, and Ren was Captain of Team A (aka. The Fuokkas).

    It was a beautiful sunny autumn day in Melbourne, with the buzz of the Grand Prix in the background and a couple of fly-overs to celebrate diversity in Cricket. I sat down with the two Captains afterwards to get their thoughts on the day…

    captains

     

    Rev: Let’s get some context around this game, tell me a little about what brought you to Cricket?

    Cat: Growing up in a Sri Lankan household, everything that our family did: answering the phone, cooking… even going to the toilet, was done between overs. At the end of a day of watching 90 overs of cricket, we then watched the same summary of the day’s play on every channel’s news report and then proceeded to tape the highlights show in the evening. This was normal for us. Dad wrote me sick notes to let me wag school when there was a good cricket match on because he considered it educational. In retrospect this made a lot of sense. Because you learn more about life from cricket than you could at school.

    In one time of crisis I rang Dad and told him how my life was going down the toilet. He simply said with his wise voice (you’ll have to imagine the Sri Lankan accent): “Cath, what this situation needs from you is a Steve Waugh innings”. That made perfect sense to me. Crisis over.

    So anyway, I came to play cricket because of an intrinsic passion for the game, rather than actual ability. As such I had to learn how to stay in, and spent the best part of my youth learning to block. Making runs was of secondary importance, so I became a specialist opening bat for Melbourne Uni, which I did for about 10 years.

    How did you feel about this, a mixed game?

    Ren: I was excited. The game would satisfy the appetites of Quokkas supporters who had waited for months to get their ‘strut on’ AND show the current QCC players that they are more than just cricket spectators!

    Among my team were those who had never played a full game of cricket in their life, a few who had dabbled in it and of course many of the current QCC team players, who I am told also dabble in it.

    And how were the pre-game nerves?

    Ren: I did have a go at providing some support to those who had no idea what they were there to do by attempting to give the greener girls a basic lesson on cricket in a very rushed 3 minute rant.

    This included a brief explanation why players run between the creases and the concept around which batter should call the run…though, it soon became apparent soon afterwards that I was terrible at that bit too when I nearly had the Russian run-out for forgetting to call the run!

    I thought I did an ok job explaining the basics of cricket until someone asked me if both batters are meant to run at the same time. I could swear the world around me went silent … followed by the sound of stridulating crickets in the distance.

    YES! Everyone runs. Except J-Rod …

     

    Team A batted first, how did you judge your teams performance?

    Ren: Shweta and Russian opened, looked nervous and we had an early loss for 1.

    I joined the mighty Russian for a couple of overs and was caught out having contributed only 3 runs to the tally.

    The Russian managed to stay in for a while and it’s worth noting that every time the end of the over was called she thought it was the end of the game.

    Nick came on and hit an aggressive 20, the retirement score for the day, though did manage to get out once he got to 20.

    After the early collapse, Fe anchored The Fuokkas innings by scoring a steady 12 runs off 36 balls.  She never looked like going out, and didn’t!

    Seen here, an anchor

    Seen here, an anchor

     

    Eliza looked the goods and was unlucky to go out for a duck. Shane, on the other hand, slapped one to Tuesday on the mid-wicket fence for a golden. I think this makes him the only Quokka to have gone out for a Golden Duck outside the BDNO.

    Editors Note: I’m pretty sure this is true. Dutchy does have the honour of a Golden AND a Diamond Duck in the BDNO.

    The Fuokkas were blind to Tuesday’s crafty field placement, ‘gently’ guiding Mia to the sweet spot at mid wicket, where she held 4 catches (a Quokka record) & earned her the honour of having a fielding spot named after her; EVERY WAGs dream.

    Snipper came in and made 7 off 3 (1, 6, out), then watched the GP for the rest of the day, even while fielding.

    "What's the Score?" "Cars"

    “What’s the Score?”
    “Cars”

     

    Jazzron came on and scored a picket fence, before boring himself out for 18.

    Dutchy was 18ish at the end and The Rev batted without shoes, pads, gloves or an idea.

    Cat: There was no lack of ability from any of the ladies who gave cricket a go for the first time on Sunday. I think the stand-out player in Team B was Mia. As the old adage goes, catches win matches, and she didn’t put down a thing.

    That midwicket position, which was once Allan Border’s, will now be forever the “Mia position” to me. Mia told me she was a former dancer, to explain her coordination.

    I didn’t want to be rude, but that explains nothing. I think she’s just a natural cricketer.

    The Natural

    The Natural

    Special mention also to Caitlin who took a brilliant catch off a flighted edge at point. Caitlin is such a team player and uniquely un-intimidated by the new challenges – she was the only female to agree to bowl a third over and I think managed the bowling best out of all of us.

    Caitlin doing her thing

    Caitlin doing her thing

    But onto bowling, for those ladies completely new to the game in the Quokkas mixed match, (and, indeed for those who’ve played before), there is nothing natural about the bowling action. Trying to fling a ball with a straight arm down a pitch like a human windmill is counter-intuitive at the very least.

    However, ladies, we apparently have only ourselves to blame, since women invented overarm bowling. In the 19th century women were unable to bowl underarm because of their hooped skirts, so they started the overarm action we use today….That’s what I was told and please don’t Google it because I don’t want to find out that’s not true.

    Team A managed to make 84 after a very slow start, how did the next innings go?

    Cat: A couple of overs in, we had a problem in the form of one Ledene Ellis, another specialist opening batter for Melbourne Uni, and greatly accustomed to batting all day for Melbourne Uni whilst her teammates lay around getting a sun tan.

    The problem was that the runs were coming too fast, not helped by Tuesday who it’s fair to say, and wasn’t holding back.

    So the openers were retired, Jay had a decent crack and then the ever reliable Caitlyn padded up – eventually, once she worked out which way the pads went on. “How the hell do you run in these things?” – fair question Caitlyn.

    One person who can’t answer that is Rosemary, who plainly refused. I’ve seen people retire in various states of medical emergency over the years, but retiring at 4 not out simply because she “couldn’t be bothered” running, was a unique first.

    Ren: After lunch Tuesday and Ledene opened & it was obvious Team B was in a better position. Team A rotated the bowlers, to little success.

    Simon replaced The Russian in the field in the second innings. He bowled with a round-arm action that The Rev put down to the wide brim on his hat. His solid bowling dazed Small Goods who subsequently got run out by the Rev.

    This actually happened

    This actually happened

    Snipper bowled smoke and got Jay out, caught behind by Jazzron who looked like a real wicket keeper. Even he was stunned.

    Cat looked good until caught by Nick, who fielded like a Panther…  a Panther who could field; taking 3 classic catches.

    Eliza and Shweta both bowled and fielded really well, Shweta has the bruises to prove it!

    Happiness is a bruised kneecap

    Happiness is a bruised kneecap

     

    Dutchy fielded pretty well at Deep Square leg, a move more influenced by the availability of shade than strategy.

    Mia had 9 lives (and bruises) & ended up hitting the winning runs.

    Now that it’s all over, what would you say as Captain?

    Ren: Well done to Cat and Team B for a great win and the fun had getting there.

    A special thanks to all those that helped take photos throughout the day and to Big Dog and Cat for organising a delicious lunch.

    A special thanks to the QCC committee for their dedication to the game. If it weren’t for their passion for the sport, matches like the one that was held yesterday probably wouldn’t happen.

    There are so many great people in this club and I personally am cuffed for the opportunity to be part of it.

    A great day all round!! Ready for more?

    teamshot

    Tags:

  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 20

    Alfred Crescent Oval, Edinburgh Gardens, North Fitzroy

    Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture: 

    Finally, the last game of a very prolonged season is upon us.

    After the Quokkas Legends v Quokkas All Stars game a fortnight ago, this match will finally see match gear packed into filthy kit bags to fester until the start of next season in 6 months…or the start of indoor cricket (which is the next day).

    This match, a mixed game, will pit female supporters and spectators (and sometimes bakers) of the Quokkas against their male counterparts who have hitherto now been the players. The exception to this, of course, is Cat who has turned out for the Quokkas on 8 occasions & will be Captain of one of the teams.

    The intention of the game is to give all Quokkas a go at the game and have some fun, so not a huge change from normal operation at all.

    The game will be played under modified T20 rules, making sure that everyone gets a go at batting and bowling. We will also bring in the LBW rule for the blokes, so I’m hoping a few techniques get figured out on the day.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas managed to beat the Quokkas in the last intra-match, which is a good and bad sign.

    The centre-wicket hit-out that was held between The Quokkas and some of the female supporters after the ASRC game was fairly hotly contested, with the double-bounce delivery a constant & more than a few cans knocked over in the field from well-placed shots.

    In the spotlight:

    The level of nervous competition that has developed for this game is something that is hard to describe.

    Many of the female players are nervous about poor performances, while many of the male players are nervous about being out-played by their partners. Two of the male players have even asked to be on the same team as their partners, just to make sure they don’t go out to them.

    Not naming names

    Not naming names

    Team News:

    We’ve had a few changes to the two squads since this match was announced due to a number of reasons including: work commitments, nervousness and (of course) lack of interest.

    The two teams, at the time of writing, are:

    Team A

    1. Cat (c)
    2. Big Dog
    3. Rosemary
    4. Small Goods
    5. Mia
    6. Tuesday
    7. Radar
    8. Caitlin
    9. Liv
    10. Jay
    11. Alex
    12. Chef*

    Team B

    1. Ren (c)
    2. Rev
    3. Russian
    4. Nickname AW
    5. Shweta
    6. Bowl’en
    7. Eliza
    8. Snipper
    9. Fe
    10. Dutchy
    11. Jazzron

    Pitch and Conditions

    The game is to be played at the home of Pub Cricket, Alfred Crescent Oval, which is as picturesque as it is a batters paradise. The BOM is predicting a sunny day at 23 degrees, so its sure to be a fun day out.

    Stats and Trivia

    • Cat has played 6 YPCA games for the Quokkas, scoring 40 runs in 6 innings with 2 not outs for an average of 10
    • The Dutchman took his total Quokka run count to 708 in the last match and has declared he is going after the thousand next season – potentially in the first game
    • Alex has transformed as a bowler this season after turning to leg-spin, picking up 5 wickets at 21.8
  • Match Preview: Quokkas CC v Quokkas CC

     

    Match Facts:

    Sunday, March 6

     

    Alphington Park, Parkview Road

    Alphington

     

    Time:

    1pm

     

    The Big Picture:

    The Quokkas CC was started on a whim but has continued with a substantial dose of fortune.

     

    It was in 2003 when the Rev, working at a Private Equity firm in London was wondering how he’d fill his day, saw an ad for an indoor cricket league on the newly popular “internets”.

     

    Emailing an English friend, they quickly decided to enter a team, with neither players nor a name. A recently published article on attacks to the worlds least threatening marsupials, Quokkas, provided inspiration for the name while desperate calls and emails brought in the players.

     

    The Quokkas spent 2 years in the indoor league without managing to trouble the “win” column too often, eventually taking out a league award for turning up.

     

    Taking the hint, the Quokkas soon started organising outdoor games against Village sides and tour matches throughout Europe, always striving to find someone worse than them. The endless search goes on.

     

    Moving back to Australia in 2009, the Rev started up the team again in the Yarra Pub Cricket Association, from which it has moved on to playing regular tour and charity games.

     

    One of the first players to sign up to the Quokkas in Australia was the Big Dog, his name derived in the Arabic sense, being that it was in relation to the name of his eldest son; Pup.

     

    This game was originally organised to mark the Big Dogs 50th game for the Quokkas, but a countback has revealed he has already played 55 games.

     

    Oddly, though, this WILL be the 50th game for 2 other Quokkas stalwarts, Ed and Dutchy.

     

    The game will be played between past and current Quokkas and see the return of such luminaries as Bad Boy and Lonely.

     

    Perhaps most importantly, it guarantees that a Quokka team will win the game. Not that that has ever been the point.

     

    Form Guide:

    The current Quokkas are coming off 2 wins in a row in the YPCA, which is unprecedented in recent times.

     

    In the spotlight:

    Basically everyone

     

    Team News:

    After starting the week with 28 available to fill up the 2 teams, the night before the game sees only 23 available, so anything could happen before 10am.

     

    That being said, the night before also sees The Rev settling in to watch another episode of ‘If you are the one’, so there are definitely bigger problems in the world.

     

    The available list, for each team, at the time of writing is:

    Quokka Legends:

    1. Big Dog
    2. Pup (c)
    3. Howie
    4. Lonely
    5. Dutchy
    6. Local
    7. Jay
    8. Bad Boy
    9. Tinny
    10. Chef
    11. Bowl’en

     

    Quokka All-Stars:

    1. Cat
    2. J Rod
    3. Ed
    4. Rev
    5. Snipper
    6. Alex
    7. Gregor
    8. Tuesday
    9. Phantom (c)
    10. Cuz
    11. Nickname AW
    12. Mo*

     

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The match is to be played at the wondrous Alphington Park, with grass so lush that you just want to spill a catch on it so you can sprawl for a while. That’s my excuse.

     

    Stats and Trivia:

    • 66 players have turned out for the Quokkas since 2009, with each player playing an average of 9.4 games
    • The average Quokka bats in 8.3 innings, with an average high score of 20.4
    • The average Quokka has taken 5.5 wickets at the cost of 125 runs & has taken an average of 3.4 catches
    • Of the 66 Quokkas to have played for the Quokkas in YPCA-rules games, Big Dog has played 45, with 39 innings, 405 runs (10 not out), with an average of 13.97 and a high score of 35
    • The Big Dog has also taken 27 wickets for 660 runs at 24.44, or 9.71 runs per over, with 11 catches and 1 run-out
    • For the party boys, Ed has 675 runs at 29.35 and Dutchy has 686 at 28.58
    • Ed has 57 fours and 16 sixes, Dutchy 68 fours and 22 sixes
    • Ed has bowled 94.1 overs for 34 wickets at 16.29 and 5.89 runs per over, Dutchy has bowled 80 overs for 13 wickets at 45.69 at 7.43 runs per over

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • From Captain Jay…

    It was with high hopes that the Q.C.C arrived at Alphington Park last Sunday for the final Yarra Pub League match of season 2015/16.
     
    This Captain’s quick pre game assessment of team morale was a solid 7/10. A definitive seasonal high.  Q.C.C members were spotted stretching, walking fast, tossing balls, inspecting the pitch, in the nets and at the ground early.
    This was, of course a big day for the hungry Quokkas. Coming off the back of the 2nd win of the season against the Rainbow Hotel, Q.C.C was in the hunt for a double and the Terminus could be just the blokes to satiate the Quokkas appetite. 
    A quick conversation with the Terminus revealed a squad with a total of just 19 hours sleep between the first 11 with an average of 11 stubbies consumed the night before.
    While morale was high, there were significant doubts that two in a row was possible. Last week Mike McDermott, a resident of Oxford in the UK won the lottery for the 2nd time in a year with the exact same numbers. According to the Daily Mail, the odds of the same six lottery numbers coming up at random again are 5,400,000,000,000 to one, or 2,330,636 squared. The Rev assured this captain that the Quokkas odds of winning the two in a row were in the same region of probability.
    It was with this weight and responsibility that two of the clubs elder statesman strode to the middle to face an impatient (keen to get back to bed) Terminus attack.
    Big Dog and Dutchy put on a solid opening stand with Dutchy retiring on 40 odd and Big Dog hitting out for 11. A fine opening partnership. Seeing off the new ball and setting up the middle order to pile on the runs.
    Snipper, back for his first match in a while went for 13 of 15 balls.
    Then came the middle order.. and what a middle order. Alex leading the way and pushing forward the run rate right up where she needed to be. Alex (ret 34), Curto (ret 30), Tuesday (30), Jay (25 n/o) and J Rod (8) piling on 127 runs in 70 odd balls. (all batters with S/Rate of over 1.6)
    The ever generous Nick AW and Local bowing out for 1 and 1 respectively.
    Ed, inspired by thrilling middle order batting and in at number 11, put on 19 runs off 9 balls (S/Rate 2.11)
    Quokkas finally had a total that leg side bowling and dropped catches could (maybe) defend..  7/229
    Earlier in the day the cones were strategically placed real deep to protect our leg side. Which for the most part (save Ed and Revs final overs) worked to our advantage.
    Tuesday and J Rod opened up the bowling from the Heidelberg Rd end. Tuesday, overlooked as an opening bowler for most of the season relished the opportunity with the new ball. 2 overs 1/7.
    Tuesday’s solid line and length set a difficult precedent for the remaining 10 bowlers to follow. 
     
    J Rod, under an injury cloud, worked away and kept the pressure on –  2 overs 0/6. The first 4 overs going for 1/13 runs (a run rate of 3.25). This was proper cricket.
    The Quokkas of old started creeping back in at around the 5 over mark. Dutchy cowering under a skied top edge at an expertly placed gully. Nick and Curto colliding under a catch at fine leg.
    Tuesday and Snipper dropping deep field catches. Almost unheard of..
     
    The fix was in? 
     
    Dutchy, Nick AW,  Ed and Rev bowling really tight (first) spells. Terminus, down a few wickets decided to finally install some batsman at the crease and they quickly lifted the run rate before drinks (12 over mark) 
     
    3/60 at the break. Not bad. It was only uphill from here..
     
    It was time to turn the screws. Jay and Snipper put on a pace attack after the break. Jay being hit for 6 off the first ball back from drinks.
     
    Was this the beginning of the end?
    What had the Terminus been drinking?
    Had the Terminus’s hang over subsided? 
     
    Jay and Snipper straightened up the attack with 4 overs of solid line and length, a few dots balls even. It was time to bring on the newly reformed (Aria Award Winner) Alex Gow. Recently turning to leg spin. Sighting the obvious advantage of having less of a chance of being charged for manslaughter than when he bowls short pitched/headhunting pace. 
    Alex’s first leg spin wicket has been compared to Warnie’s first Test ball on English soil.
    Bowling the batsman round the legs, from outside leg to take out the top of off. The umpire was confused. A few dropped catches later, and a staggering total of 76 runs coming off just 5 overs courtesy of – Curto (1/18), Big Dog (0/21), Rev (1/39) and Ed (2/23).
    A nervous captain retired to the deep outfield (in the shade) counting down the overs. “You can only put the cones out so far” – his internal mantra.
    Terminus 9/177!  Quokkas win 2nd match in a row. 
     
    Special mentions: 
    Dutchy – 2 short of a 50. Solid batting.
    Rev – 4 dropped catches / 1 taken (off his own bowling)
    J Rod – Dropping a catch off his own bowling and dropping his guts at the same time (causing fits of laughter from the batsman)
    Curto – Good match back, solid form with the bat and the gloves, good luck with the twins!
    Nick AW – Great bowling, great fielding, good bloke. Endearing comments at every change of end.

   

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