Former 1st XI premiership player and current Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) 2nd XI captain Peter Petricola has announced his retirement from Premier Cricket after an outstanding career.
In a contribution spanning more than 20 years, Peter played 334 Premier matches for the Demons, amassing over 10,000 runs including 14 centuries. He played in multiple premierships for the Club and was also an international player for Italy for several years.
A product of the MCC’s Dowling Shield (Under 16) pathway, Peter won a title in that competition in 1998/99 alongside the likes of paceman Rob Cassell. The two would become 1st XI premiership teammates more than a decade later, in 2009/10. In the semi-final against Carlton he dug in for 67 off 180 balls as Melbourne held on for a draw.
A year after he joined Melbourne, Peter was involved in a serious car accident which tragically involved the loss of lives and he spent countless hours in rehabilitation. Getting back on the field was a huge achievement in itself.
Peter made his 1st XI debut in 2001/02 and went on to play more than 100 matches at that level, including the T20 and One Day titles in 2012/13. He made 10 half centuries and had a highest score of 99. At 2nd XI level, Peter notched 14 tons and 42 half centuries, averaging 46.07 with a highest score of 180* not out against Frankston Peninsula in 2007/08.
A stylish left-hand batsman, Peter possessed all-round skills and bowled right-arm outswing in the early phases of his career. Across all grades, he took 96 wickets @28.42. His international career with Italy came via his father’s (Tony’s) heritage and saw Peter compete in multiple tournaments at ICC Associate level. During his qualification period he lived in Rome for six months and worked in cricket development. His first tour was to Ireland for the European championships. He also played in Tanzania, South Africa, Bermuda, Jersey, the UK and Dubai. He scored an unbeaten 104 against host nation Hong Kong in the 2010/11 World Cricket League Division Three tournament.
The career of the man universally known as ‘Pepsi’ has hardly fizzled out – his average of 57.50 this season was the highest in the 2nd XI competition for players who’d scored 400 runs or more. His skillful, measured approach accounted for a variety of match scenarios and he controlled his aggression accordingly. He also set a great example to his younger charges and instilled in them the need to play with passion, competitiveness, collective will and respect.
MCC Premier Cricket Committee Chairman Andrew Kent – who captained-coached Peter throughout much of his career, paid tribute to the 300-game veteran.
“Pepsi has called time on a career that has included eight titles and that breakthrough 1st XI flag in 2009/10,” he said.
“To amass over 10,000 runs says a lot about his talent and even more about his durability and dedication. But his impact has extended far beyond the numbers – he’s always been the consummate clubman, who’s given everything week in, week out, for two decades.
“He’s helped drive, preserve and nurture our culture and his passion has rubbed off on a countless number of people around the place. He’s always been the first to celebrate the success of the team and anyone who’s had a good day individually. He’s been the barometer of the atmosphere around the club, really.
“We wish Pepsi, Felicity and Hugo all the best for the next phase of life and look forward to seeing them at the Albert in the years to come.”
Peter reflected on his career at the MCC.
“My time at Melbourne Cricket Club has been an incredible ride,” he said.
“When I started as a teenager I never imagined playing for so long and building such unbelievable relationships within this special place.
“Wearing the ‘hoops’ has been such a constant in my life. It’s given me the opportunity to develop as a player, as a leader and as a person. It’s allowed me to be part of touring teams and had a significant role in me representing Italy.
“Cricket is a sport that delivers plenty of ups and downs but the Albert has always been a magical place, full of wonderful people. It was here that I learnt to work hard to improve, to compete fiercely and to respect the game. Hopefully I’ve passed some of those lessons on to the next generation and they get as much out of playing here as I have.
“I’m really thankful to my family for backing my pursuit of cricket with the MCC and abroad, and also for the support offered to me by the Club after my accident - these helped me forge life-long friendships which I cherish deeply.
“To my teammates, I’ve loved pulling on the hoops with you; it’s something I’ve cherished and will always keep close to my heart. To the bowlers at training – you’ve bounced me for the last time!”
334 games across all levels and formats, including 127 in the 1st XI
Career Statistics (combined)
330 innings, 10,230 runs @37.06 (HS 180*), 14 x 100s, 56 x 50s
96 wickets @ 28.42 (BB 5/20), 1 x 5 wickets in an innings
2009/10 (Two Day)
2012/13 (One Day)
2003/04 (Two Day)
2005/06 (Two Day)
2005/06 (One Day)
2008/09 (Two Day)
2011/12 (Two Day)