Sunday, October 22, Alfred Crescent Oval, Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy
The Big Picture:
Good day to you and welcome to another Australian Summer of Quokkas Cricket, a heady time of year for any fan of shambolic representations of the great game.
This seasons first game is against the might of the Launceston Pub League (LPL), whose genesis began with the Quokka tour to play the Royal Oak at the start of the 2011/12 season. While the spoils of the day did not go to the Quokkas, it did lead to the creation of the LPL, making the great game more accessible to more people, which is (kind of) the point of the whole thing.
And so the LPL have put a combined ‘All Stars’ team together, with a little assistance from the Quokkas and the YPCA and travelled north to kill their maker. Its kind of like the story of Oedipus, though the role of the mother is yet to be cast.
Being the first game of the season, the Quokkas are in (arguably) their best form of the year. There is a cluster of new faces in the team, a cluster being the collective noun for diamonds, as well as some familiar ones that are a little less shiny.
The game between the Quokkas and the Royal Oak back in 2011/12 ended with ‘the oak’ knocking over the 109 runs required in 12 overs for the loss of only 2 wickets. Highlights of the game included Eds mate Mark driving up from Hobart to get hit for two of the biggest 6s in history, The Big Dog smashing up some play equipment, Morts meeting some locals and Kathleen making her debut.
The only Quokkas who played in that match who are available this time around are Dutchy, Big Dog, Ed and The Rev. On form, the LPL are looking good.
In the Spotlight:
After starting a bet with Local on who could do the best disappearing act, Pup returns to the starting XI this week to grace us with his left-arm swing bowling and powerful pull shots.
Being one of the few Quokkas under the Pension age, there is a bit of pressure on the younger O’Donovan to do the parts of cricket that require running, so naturally Pup has brought a mate (Robbie) down to delegate this to.
After spending much of the off season fretting about how they were ever going to get an XI together, the committee now finds itself with a cluster of Quokkas, whereas the LPL are a bit short. As a result, Roley and The Rev will be filling in for the LPL and possibly one more.
The Quokkas XI, at the time of writing, is (in no particular order):
- Dutchy (w/k)
- Big Dog
- Alex Gow
- James Gow
- Sean Scales
- Ray Jayner
- Gaz / Gary
- Stewart Denmead
- Ed (c)
The nickname sub-committee clearly has some work to do.
Pitch and Conditions:
Conditions have conspired to ensure that the nano-sized ground at Alfred Crescent be available for the LPL touring team, a welcome spot for any touring batsman who doesn’t mind culling a few trees while hitting 6s. The weather is supposed to be a bit cooler than the rest of the week (only 18 degrees) with some cloud cover, though the only movement expected through the air will be off the LPL bats at a great pace.
Stats and Trivia:
- This will be the Big Dogs 70th overall appearance for The Quokkas, still a club record
- Interestingly, it will be Radars 35th appearance, though Im not sure if that makes him half the Quokka
- Despite having a hand average of 22 with the bat and a high score of 37, Alex has only batted in 75% of the games he has played in; Im not sure why team captains may be afraid of winning
- James Gow averages an impressive 1 wicket per match and will surely be a cornerstone of Sundays formidable bowling attack
- Jay is only 10 runs off 200 career Quokka runs, hitting them at a healthy average of 31 with a high score of 38*
- Despite only playing once every other leap year, Pup is still 5th on the all-time wicket-taking list with 20. He only needs 3 to equal The Rev.