Round 1 of the 2018/19 Premier Cricket season gets underway this weekend with a round of one-day matches, the men taking on Geelong and the women tackle Box Hill, their 1sts being the reigning premiers. The women’s 3rds ‘Shield’ grade also start their year, with a T20 away to Kingston Heath on Sunday whilst the MCC Club XI teams are fine tuning their skills to launch their season in a fortnight. The full list of match days, opponents, times and venues are:
Men's Premier Firsts - 6 Oct 18 - Geelong v Melbourne at Geelong Cricket Ground (10am)
Men's Premier Seconds - 6 Oct 18 - Melbourne v Geelong at Albert Ground (10am)
Men's Premier Thirds - 6 Oct 18 - Geelong v Melbourne at Kardinia Park West (11am)
Men's Premier Fourths - 6 Oct 18 - Melbourne v Geelong at Beaumaris Secondary College - South Oval (11am)
Women's Premier Firsts One Day - 7 Oct 18 - Box Hill v Melbourne at Schramms Reserve #1 (11am)
Women's Premier Seconds One Day - 7 Oct 18 - Melbourne v Box Hill at Beaumaris Secondary College - South Oval (12pm)
WCCC: Shield T20 - 7 Oct 18 - Kingston Heath 1 v Melbourne 3 at Southern Road Reserve
All teams can be found on the MCC Premier Cricket website here
There has been plenty going on in the off-season across all areas of the club, too many to give a lengthy description of so here is a summary. On the playing side, our first team captains remain the same however there has been a number of new appointments and changes in other grades, the full list being:
We welcome a number of players representing the club for the first time across all grades but especially mention the one 1st XI debutante in our men’s, Usama Saddiq, a leg-spinner who has joined us from St Andrews Pascoe Vale. Good luck ‘Ussie’.
The coaches have put in an enormous amount of work preparing the players and we should recognise their efforts so far. Graeme Lay heads up our women’s program once again and has been joined this season by former Australian international star bat, and more recently successful coach at EMP, Karen Rolton. They will shortly be joined by Kaushalya Gajasinghe who has a broad playing and coaching experience to round out the panel.
Adam Dale heads up the men’s coaching team, supported again by David Clarke. We are delighted to have the services of Greg Shipperd as our specialist batting coach, whilst former Melbourne players Ben Vague and Robert Templeton take on various player development and support roles.
Our Premier Cricket Committee is now headed up by Andrew Kent (need I go through his list of club achievements!), taking over from Michael Sholly who helped set up and lead this committee dedicated to the needs of our current club players 11 years ago. Michael hasn’t gone far away though, now being chairman of selectors, taking over from Mark ‘Dos’ Anderson who resided in that chair for the last 16 seasons.
Wendy Moore and Nick Quinn have joined committee and we thank Anton Scholtz and John Fitzgibbon on their service although we know they will keep contributing to MCC in the background. Dos stays on committee as does Chris Muller. Marcella Torre continues her women’s cricket administrator role and wears the chair of selectors hat as well. We welcome Sean Sturrock into the social committee chair role.
Lastly, there have been plenty of things happening on the facilities side of things. Most notably we play our first cricket matches at our new Beaumaris Secondary College playing fields this weekend – a place that we can finally call ‘home’. The two cricket ovals and sports pavilion have been built primarily for the use of MCC cricket – MCC Football (women’s) will continue playing there is the winter and MCC lacrosse will utilise the adjacent multi-purpose pitch that is under construction along with community users such as Beaumaris Soccer Club.
The South Oval will be in use for the first two weekends of the season with the North Oval – being constructed later than the South and having had additional ground renovations carried out on it to ensure it is in top condition – coming on line in the next week or so.
The Albert Ground will have a new look in parts; a new LED scoreboard will be in operation for the first time tomorrow (and please excuse any initial operational hiccups as there has been limited training), and both change rooms have had the shower and toilets renovated.
We wish all coaches, captains and players the best of fortunes on the weekend and a successful season ahead. Let the season begin (and Winx by 8!)