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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?