7 April 2024

Illawarra cricketers honoured for their outstanding contributions to the sport

| Graeme Burrill
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Cricketer bowling in nets

Barry Bates started his cricket career at Port Kembla Public School and went on to play 10 matches for NSW. Photo: Cricket Illawarra.

The region’s cricket community has recognised the achievements of five outstanding players by inducting them into Cricket Illawarra’s Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame honours those who have been loyal servants of the game, coming from any period in the history of cricket in the region.

Last year’s five inductees, all of whom were born locally and went on to play Test cricket for Australia, were Dave Gregory, Tom Garrett Jr, Ruby Monaghan, Brian Taber and Phil Jaques.

The five new inductees, who were honoured at Cricket Illawarra’s presentation night on Friday (5 April), all achieved at state level.

Colin Pinch
Colin was the first Illawarra cricketer to play Sheffield Shield cricket and the first to represent two states.

Born in Brownsville in 1921, Colin was scoring lots of runs as a 15-year-old.

He scored a century at the beginning of the 1936/37 season for the Coniston seconds against Kemblawarra and followed up with 142 runs in a practice match against the Coniston first-grade side.

Selected into the NSW Cricket Association Colts team, he continued playing locally before making the move to Sydney, first with Glebe before transferring to Paddington.

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Through great form on the field in the 1949-50 season, he debuted for NSW.

The following season he moved to Adelaide with a secure job in the liquor trade, and continued his cricketing career with the Adelaide District Club, then gained selection with the South Australian state team.

His first-class statistics were an impressive 63 matches with 4206 runs and eight wickets from his left-arm orthodox spin.

Colin died in 2006.

Ivor Ewin OAM
Growing up in Parkes in western NSW, Ivor moved to Wollongong in 1939 and played for several local clubs, including Mt Keira, Keira and Wollongong, before settling with Wests, where he played for more than 20 years.

All up, he played 32 seasons in Illawarra cricket, mostly as an opening batsman, before retiring at the end of the 1971-72 season.

Along with his extensive playing career, Ivor was also involved with cricket administration, starting in 1946 and continuing for 56 years.

His service included as president and secretary of Wests, all three executive positions on the IDCA plus the vice-presidency, chair of the Australian Country Cricket Committee and vice-president of the NSW Cricket Association (now Cricket NSW) from 1984 to 2001.

His career on the field continued, not with the bat but as an umpire. For 22 seasons until the mid-1990s he officiated in many first-grade finals, representative games and the Australian Under-19 Championships.

Barry Bates
Barry, like many before him, served Illawarra cricket both on and off the field.

He was an opening fast bowler, great in the field and could bat as well. On the other side of the fence, he served as vice-president and district selector.

As an 11-year-old, he was a member of the Port Kembla Public School’s cricket team that won the Illawarra Primary competition in 1950, and in the final he scored 109.

In the 1954-55 season, Barry captained the Port Kembla Under-16 team to a premiership where he captured 63 wickets. He went on to make his senior debut for Port Kembla aged 15, and by 16 was a consistent member of the club’s first-grade team.

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Representing the NSW Colts in 1959 and 1960, it was in November 1959, with state selectors watching, that Barry’s performance of 4/40 helped Illawarra beat Newcastle and resulted in him gaining selection for NSW. He played 10 matches for NSW, taking 26 wickets.

At 24, he returned to club cricket with Port Kembla until his mid-30s when he joined Wests, which he captained. In the 74-75 season, Wests were minor premiers and declared premiers when rain halted play in the final against University.

Mike Hendricks
In the early 1950s, Mike and his twin brother Geoff began playing club cricket at Cawley Park. An invitation from their cousin John McGoldrick, a Corrimal junior captain, started his long association with the club.

Mike was captain of the Corrimal Under 14s. A talented batsman, he was selected in the two Green Shield Premierships that were won by Illawarra in 1957-58 and 1958-59.

Moving through the grades at Corrimal, his batting earned him Illawarra representative honours as a 17-year-old.

Mike took up wicketkeeping at 18, and as his experience behind the stumps increased, he was selected in the Illawarra Council teams that played regular matches against the ACT and Newcastle. Around this same time, he was chosen to play for NSW Country.

It was during the 1969-70 season, with regular NSW keeper Brian Taber away with the Australian team in South Africa, that Mike was called in as the replacement.

In November of that season, with John Benaud as captain, Mike made his debut against Western Australia at the SCG where his first dismissal was catching Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh.

Similar to fellow inductee Colin Pinch, Mike continued his cricket career in South Australia, playing until midway through the 1974-75 season when he retired due to work-related issues.

Across 41 first-class matches, he scored 801 runs, with his highest score 66, and as wicketkeeper claimed 119 dismissals – 99 caught and 20 stumpings.

Trent Johnston
Playing for Dapto, Trent gained selection in the Illawarra junior representative teams and made his senior debut in third grade in 1986-87, and in first grade as a wicketkeeper in 1989-90. The following season he became a fast bowler.

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With impressive performances in grade cricket for Dapto, Trent represented Illawarra at Under-19, Under-24 and senior levels.

Following the Country Carnival of 1992-93, Trent was named Country Under-19 Player of the Year and picked in the NSW Senior Country team and the NSW Under-19 squad.

In the mid-’90s, he decided to continue his career in Sydney grade cricket, joining Campbelltown, later North Sydney then Mosman.

Five seasons later, he was opening the bowling for NSW. Trent played four games for the state before his career took him to Ireland.

Over the next five seasons playing club cricket in Ireland, he qualified for an Irish passport.

Trent made his Irish debut in 2004, then became captain in 2005. He represented Ireland in both the 2007 and 2011 One-Day World Cups and during the 2011 tournament he became the first Irish bowler to claim 50 one-day international wickets.

Moving into coaching following his retirement from playing, he coached the Irish Women’s Squad to the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in 2014.

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