On This Day in ACT Cricket History – 14 February

  • 1954 – Alan Thom makes his ACT Debut
  • 1974 – Birth of Drew Crozier (ACT Umpire)
  • 1976 – Birth of Michael O’Rourke (ACT 1999/00-2002/03)
  • 1986 – Birth of Jack Vare (ACT 2010/11)
  • 1987 – Birth of Adam Ritchard (ACT 2004/05-2010/11)
  • 1991 – Birth of Matt Sunderland (ACT 2009/10)
  • 1991 – Birth of Vanessa Picker (ACT Debut 2008/09)
  • 1999 – Mark Higgs makes his List A Debut for New South Wales

First Ever International at Manuka Oval

The first ever international match played at Manuka Oval was not by a male cricket team, it was in fact played by the Canberra Women’s side against the touring English Women’s side in January 1935.

In September of 1934, there was talk about Canberra securing a visit of the English Women’s side. There was enough confidence in local cricket circles that Manuka Oval was given a block of time set aside for the women’s tour match. At the start of October, local authorities were informed that the English Women’s side would come to Canberra and play a match against a representative Canberra Women’s side. It was a result of an invitation by the New South Wales Women’s Cricket Association. The Canberra side had been one of the strongest areas across country New South Wales following the formation of the Blue Triangle Cricket Association which was responsible for the organisation of cricket in the Canberra area. The local association at the time had six teams across the capital.

Just before Christmas in 1934, a trial match was held between two sides of the Blue Triangle Cricket Association, an Orange side up against a Blue side. The Blue side dominated the match, dismissing the Orange side for 27, Marjorie Moore taking 6 for 19 and Edna Tong 4 for 4. In reply the Blue side made 59 with Mrs Oldfield scoring 30, Nina Southwell taking 4 for 16 and Helen Moore (Marjorie’s sister) taking 4 for 20.

A second trial match was held on December 27 with teams led by Miss Blundell and Miss Southwell according to the Canberra Times. Miss Blundell’s side batted first and made 103 of which Marjorie Moore made 34 and Mrs Oldfield made 27. Nina Southwell took 5 for 17 and Ivy Twemlow from Cooma took 3 for 18. In reply Miss Southwell’s side was dismissed for 113 winning the match by just 10 runs. Ivy Twemlow followed her success with the ball by top scoring with 34 and securing herself a side in the Canberra side for the match against the English. Marjorie Moore again impressed with the ball.

Following this match, the Canberra side for the match was named for the match against the tourists.

Marjorie Moore was named as captain. The rest of the side was Lily Blundell (vice-captain, Westridge), Nina Southwell (Hall), Helen Moore (Hall), Jean Oldfield (Westridge), Katherine Corey (Westridge), Rita Connelly (Westridge), Molly McKissock (Westlake), Francis Robinson (Westlake), Beryl Dixon (YWCA), Ivy Twemlow (Cooma) and Ivy McDonald (Westlake) who was the 12th player. Moore was the second youngest player in the side, aged just 16 while her sister Helen was the youngest aged just 14. The oldest was Francis Robinson aged 37. Eight of the side were still teenagers.

Marjorie Moore captained the first women’s side in 1934/35 at the age of just 16 when they played the visiting English Women’s side. She also led the ACT side to victory at several Country Week competitions and was selected as the vice-captain of the New South Wales side in the 1935/36 Australian Women’s Cricket Championships. She took over 20 wickets in the 1935/36 Country Championships including 16 wickets in two matches on one day. In the first match on that day she took match figures of 13 for 32 against Lisarow. She was a contender for the 1937 Australian Tour of England but was ineligble due to the minimum age limit for players for the tour being 21. Moore was also the President of the Federal Capital Territory’s Women’s Cricket Association in the 1930s. She was inducted into the Cricket ACT Hall of Fame in 2021.

The schedule as described by the Canberra Times was as follows:

Wednesday January 9

  • 730am: Women cricketers to be met at Railway Station by hosts and hostesses.
  • 11am: Photographs at Manuka Oval.
  • 1130am: Match v. Blue Triangle Cricket Association.
  • 1-2pm: Picnic lunch on the Manuka Oval.
  • 4 p.m.: Afternoon tea break.
  • 6 pm.: Stumps drawn.
  • Evening: Swimming Baths visitors’ events.

Thursday January 10

  • Morning free for rest or swimming.
  • 2 pm: Meet at the Parliament House.
  • Drive Round the City
  • 630pm: High tea as guests of the Y.W.C.A. at Civic Centre.
  • 30: Leave by train.

The side was billeted out by interested families and members of the YWCA and the Governor-General, his wife and the Minister for the Interior were invited to the match. A special scorecard was also to be produced for the match. The admission charge was 1/- for adults and 6d for children. There was no charge for cars to enter the ground. Both teams were presented to the Governor-General (Sir Isaac Isaacs) during an interval of the match.

The English side that was named was B.Archdale (captain), B.Snowball, M.Child, B.Green, M.Maclagan, G.Morgan, J.Partridge, N.Richards, J.Spear, M.Taylor and C.Valentine.

A large crowd attended the match on January 9 despite a plea from the organisers for a half day public service holiday being rejected. Marjorie Moore won the toss and elected to bat first.

Ivy Twemlow and J.Oldfield opened the batting for the home side and made a slow and steady start. Out of the first 13 overs, 9 were maidens. Oldfield was the first batter dismissed when she was caught at point off the bowling of Richards for 5. After 85 minutes the score was 1 for 17 with 17 maidens. Blundell was next to be dismissed after being caught short from Maclagan to the keeper Morgan and was dismissed for 0 in 25 minutes. Corey came in to bat next but was dismissed for two, caught behind by Morgan. The captain, Marjorie Moore came to the crease next to loud cheers to join Twemlow. Unfortunately Twemlow was next to be dismissed stumped off the bowling of Maclagan. Her innings lasted 100 minutes and she weathered the majority of the opening attack, scoring 14 runs.

Helen Moore came to the crease next to join her sister and they started to push the scoring rate with aggressive batting. Unfortunately just before the luncheon interval she was clean bowled, playing over the delivery from Taylor. Nina Southwell entered the ground next and proceeded to hit the first boundary of the match pulling Richards to the fence. She out shortly after, caught at square leg by Child for 8. At lunch the local side was 6 for 47.

Connelly and Moore continued after lunch and when the score reached 6 for 53, it was the highest score made by a country side against the touring side. The pair then put on 20 runs in 20 minutes after lunch, playing forceful shots all around the wicket. The captain was next to fall, skying a ball which was caught by Spear off the bowling off Maclagan. The partnership had put on 29 and the score was 7 for 71. Connelly was clean bowled in the next over, followed by Robinson clean bowled as well by the next ball. Maclagan narrowly missed the hat trick but two balls later had McKissock stumped and the local side was dismissed for 72 at 320pm, losing their last 4 wickets for 1 run in 6 deliveries.

Rain started to fall before the English Women could commence their innings. Umpires continued to inspect the wicket until 430pm when it was decided to continue the match. Marjorie Moore and Nina Southwell opened the bowling against the batting of Maclagan and Snowball. The pair brought the total to ten where they had another 75 minutes of play to score the remaining 63 runs required to lead on the first innings.

Maclagan was missed in the slips by Connelly off the bowling of Southwell but a few balls later she was dismissed by Moore caught in the slips by Oldfield for 8. Morgan was the next batter and Snowball continued the free scoring by hitting two threes, one drive to the fence and the second a pull shot to leg. Connelly replaced Southwell and Twemlow from Cooma replaced Moore as the bowlers. Connelly improved her length and off the second ball of her third over dismissed Snowball caught and bowled. Snowball had been at the crease for 44 minutes scoring 26 runs. Green was next in but the rain returned, this time in torrents and the players dashed from the field and unfortunately not to return. The English side had made 2 for 47 off 16.5 overs. So 87 years ago, the first international match played at Manuka Oval was completed. Although small in context of that tour, it was the start of International cricket in the nation’s capital and starting a rich tradition culminating in the first Women’s Test Match to be held at the ground.



Defining Cricket Competitions Across Australia

I have been working for a while on grouping Australian Cricket Competitions by type in order to compare records across different competitions.

I have modelled this loosely on the Minor League Baseball with different levels, such as AAA, AA and A.

I have created an Australian Version to cover the main competitions from Premier Cricket down to small cricket associations. The top tier is Premier Cricket and it works it’s way down to Tier 5.

I may have left competitions out and for that I apologise. I have also only included one suburban turf competition per state except for the ACT which does not have a suburban turf competition. If you believe I have missed something out or got the gradings wrong, please don’t hesitate to contact me. This is only a draft working document,

Below is what I have graded.

Tier 1 – Premier Cricket Competitions

  • ACT Premier Cricket
  • NSW Premier Cricket
  • Queensland Premier Cricket
  • South Australia Premier Cricket
  • Tasmania Premier Cricket
  • Victoria Premier Cricket
  • Western Australia Premier Cricket

Tier 2 – Competitions which have a record of a number of players moving from their competition to a Premier Cricket Competition or have a Premier Cricket Competition located in their area.

  • NSW: Central Coast, Cricket Albury Wodonga, Illawarra, Newcastle, Sydney Shires, Wagga Wagga
  • Northern Territory: Darwin
  • Queensland: Gold Coast, Ipswich & West Moreton, Queensland Sub-District, Sunshine Coast
  • South Australia: Adelaide Turf
  • Tasmania: Cricket North, Cricket North-West, Southern Cricket Association
  • Victoria: Geelong, Victoria Sub-District
  • Western Australia: Peel, WA Suburban Turf

Tier 3 – Competitions which cover two or more Cricket Associations or their main LGA has a population greater than 75,000 as at the last Australian Census.

  • NSW: Bathurst-Orange, Blue Mountains, Coalfields Cup, Coastal League, Maitland, Shoalhaven, South Coast, South West Slopes,
  • Queensland: Fraser Coast, Mackay, Toowoomba, Towmsville
  • Victoria: Ballarat, Bendigo, Mornington Peninsula,
  • Western Australia: Bunbury

Tier 4 – Competitions that have 5 or more standalone teams in their 1st Grade Competition or their main LGA has a population greater than 25,000 at the last Australian Census.

  • NSW: Armidale, Bourke, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Far South Coast, Goulburn, Griffith, Highlands, Tamworth
  • Queensland: Gympie, Warwick
  • South Australia: Alexandra & Eastern Hills, Barossa & Light, Great Southern, Hills, Mount Gambier, Riverland
  • Victoria: Bairnsdale, Bellarine Peninsula, Ferntree Gully, Gisborne, Goulburn Murray, Leongatha, Sale-Maffra, Seymour, Shepparton, Sunraysia, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Warragul, Warrnambool, West Gippsland, Wimmera/Mallee
  • Western Australia: Albany, Busselton Margaret River, Kalgoorlie Boulder

Tier 5 – Competitions that have 4 or less standalone teams in their 1st Grade Competition or their main LGA has a population less than 25,000 at the last Australian Census.

  • NSW: Barrier, Clarence River, Cobar, Dungog & Upper Hunter, Gilgandra, Gulgong, Gunnedah, Hay, Inverell, Lake Cargellico, Lithgow, Lower Clarence, Monaro, Moree, Mudgee, Murray Valley, Nambucca Valley, Narrabri, Northern Districts, Parkes, Pilliga, Tumut, West Wyalong, Yass
  • Northern Territory: Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek
  • Queensland: Bowen, Bundaberg, Lockyer, Proserpine, South Burnett, Stanthorpe
  • South Australia: Eastern Eyre, Far West, Great Flinders, Kangaroo Island, Le Hunte, Lower Yorke Peninsula, Murray Towns, Northern Flinders, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Roxby Districts, Torrens Valley, Tumby Bay, Whyalla, Yorke Peninsula
  • Victoria: Castlemaine, Colac, Emu Valley, Grampians, Hamilton, Horsham, Maryborough, Portland, Red Cliffs, South West, Swan Hill District, Yarra Valley
  • Western Australia: Avon, Broome, Christmas Island, Eastern Districts, Eastern Goldfields, Esperance, Fortescue, Geraldton, Great Southern, Green Range Ongerup, Lakes, Newman, Northam, South Midlands, Upper Great Southern, Warren Blackwood, West Pilbara, Wyalkatchem

Rob Aitken by the numbers

Rob Aitken who currently plays for UTS North Sydney Cricket Club will play his 500th NSW Premier 1st Grade Match tomorrow. He has played the most Premier 1st Grade matches in NSW and also no other player across Australia has played 500 Australian Premier 1st Grade matches.

  • He has played in 499 matches currently, the nearest is Ken Hall with 471 matches.
  • He is currently 6th on the total of 1st Grade Wins with 202 victories. Ken Hall leads with 257, then Jarryd Burke with 219, Greg Mail 217, Anthony Clark 207, Ian Moran with 204 followed by Rob.
  • He is participated in 30 NSW Premier 1st Grade seasons, only one of 10 players to do this. Warren Bardsley holds the record with 35 seasons.
  • He has played in 265 1st Grade matches with his brother James Aitken. This is a record for siblings and second overall for players, with Anthony Clark and Grant Lambert holding the record with 291 matches together.
  • He is 10th on the overall list of 1st Grade run scorers, needing 27 runs to pass Grant Lambert to move into 9th position. He could possibly move into 5th position, needing another 500 runs to pass Richard Chee Quee. Greg Mail holds the record with 15,242 runs.
  • Overall, Rob has scored 11,387 runs at an average of 29.35 in 494 innings. He has been left not out on 106 occasions. His highest score is 116 against Sutherland. He has made 8 centuries, 59 half centuries and 38 ducks.
  • He has taken 618 wickets in 1st Grade at an average of 27.00. He has bowled 5010.3 overs, 887 maidens and conceded 16686 runs. His best bowling is 6 for 25 against Northern District. He conceded an average of 3.33 runs per over and has taken 5 wickets in an innings on 14 occasions.
  • He has taken 158 catches in 1st Grade.
  • He has played 47 matches in the T20 competition, scoring 639 runs and taking 48 wickets.
  • His most successful season in terms of runs is 820 runs in the 2004/05 season.
  • His most successful season in terms of wickets is 42 wickets in the 2000/01 season.
  • He has played for 4 1st Grade clubs, Fairfield-Liverpool (1992/93-1994/95), Petersham-Marrickville (1995/96-1996/97), Parramatta (1997/98-2000/01) and North Sydney (2001/02-present)
  • He has played 294 matches currently for North Sydney.
  • He has played against all 20 1st Grade Clubs as well as T20 matches against Greater Illawarra, Illawarra and Newcastle.
  • He has scored the most runs against Mosman (859), followed by Manly-Warringah (855) and Sydney University (723).
  • He has taken the most wickets against St George (43), followed by Penrith (41) and Manly-Warringah (39)
  • He has played on 33 1st Grade Grounds in his Premier 1st Grade Career
  • He has scored the most runs in his career at North Sydney Oval with 3667 runs. He has also passed 1000 runs at Old Kings Oval.
  • He has taken the most wickets in his career at North Sydney with 184 wickets. He has also passed 50 career wickets at Old Kings Oval.
  • He has batted at all possible batting positions in 1st Grade. He has had the most innings at positions 6 and 7, scoring 3962 and 2941 runs respectively at those positions. He has also passed 1000 runs at positions 4 and 5.
  • He has played the most matches in 1st Grade with his brother, James Aitken with 265 matches. He has also played over 100 matches with Glenn Aitken, Scott Rodgie, James Campbell, Justin Avendano, Mathew Burton and Glen Sullivan.
  • He has been dismissed the most times by Warren Buttigieg, Adam Semple and Dom Thornely, each dismissing him on five occasions.
  • He has dismissed Nathan Catalano the most times (5), there are then 11 players which he has dismissed on 4 occasions.
  • He has been dismissed caught (both fielder and keeper) on 238 occasions (48.2%), bowled (13.8%), lbw 44, run out 23, caught & bowled 13 and stumped twice.
  • 52.2% of his wickets are caught (both fielder and keeper), 15.5% lbw, 14.4% bowled, 13.2% stumped and 4.7% caught and bowled.

On this Day in ACT Cricket History – 2 December

  • 1909 – Birth of John Roseby (ACT 1936/37)
  • 1967 – Terry Booth and David Myers make their ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Death of Tom O’Connor (ACT 1925/26-1937/38)
  • 1993 – 17th Prime Minister’s XI match with the opponent being South Africa
  • 1997 – 20th Prime Minister’s XI match with the opponent being South Africa
  • 2005 – 28th Prime Minister’s XI match with the opponent being West Indies
  • 2012 – New South Wales play Queensland in a Sheffield Shield match at Manuka Oval
  • 2018 – Erica Kershaw makes her WBBL Debut

Australian Premier 1st Grade Statistics as of 1/12/2021

Most Runs Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
631 H Burdon (GC)
601 DR Drew (WT)
540 AM Hardie (Wil)
540 KR Smith (WT)
520 A Grewal (NSb)
501 SJ Truloff (WSQ)
501 HW Wood (Ips)
491 J Cooper (SR)
478 JJ Clayton (UQ)
452 J Brown (NSQ)

Highest Scores Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
214* DR Drew (WT)
206* KR Smith (WT)
205* NS Virk (Gle)
199 BT Capel (WT)
187* SM Whiteman (Fre)
182* E Peterson (SB)
181 BE Maher (SC)
180* DR Drew (WT)
179* AM Hardie (Wil)
176* BR McDermott (Lin)

Most Wickets Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
31 SA Milenko (Red)
26 W Sanders (UQ)
23 H McKenzie (SF)
22 L Hope-Shackley (WM), CJ Boyce (Val), DJ Turkich (CN), DM Whyte (Val)
20 MG Spoors (Stu), H Sardar (NSQ)
19 LN O’Connor (BM), W Dhillon (Wil), CD Hinchliffe (ML)

Most Wickets Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
7-40 HJ Manenti (NT)
7-41 C Kaluthanthri (SR)
7-55 CT Valente (SHSB)
6-24 MJ Turner (Mel)
6-32 HA Martin (Woo)
6-35 AJ Tye (Sca)
6-36 SA Milenko (Red)
6-37 J Wilde (BM)
6-40 JD Chislett (UWA)
6-44 DOD White (UNSW)

Most Dismissals Australian Premier 1st Grade 2021/22:
24 TA Healy (NSQ)
19 LD Pfeffer (Val)
18 AJ Bottega (ML)
17 B Tredget (SF)
16 GD Barnes (Fre), J Curtis (Per), B Faber (SB)
15 R Strickland (SP), H Walker (UQ)
14 L Farrow (Mel), TP Cummins (SU)


On This Day in ACT Cricket History – 27 November

  • 1932 – Harrie Alderton, Ted Gill, Courtney Gribble, Lorne Lees and Norman Parkes make their ACT Debut
  • 1982 – Steve Marshall and Peter Woods make their ACT Debut
  • 1982 – Birth of Andrew Maher (ACT 2010/11-2012/13)
  • 1986 – Birth of Kate Owen (ACT Debut 2009/10)
  • 1992 – James Peterson and Scott Vidler make their ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Jamie Haynes makes his ACT Debut
  • 1993 – Birth of Robbie Trickett (ACT 2019/20)
  • 1994 – Paul Gambale makes his ACT Debut
  • 1998 – Evan Kellar makes his ACT Debut
  • 2000 – Grant Miller makes his ACT Debut
  • 2012 – New South Wales play Queensland in a Sheffield Shield match at Manuka Oval
  • 2016 – Ben Mitchell makes his ACT Debut
  • 2019 – WBBL match at Manuka Oval between Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars