La Trobe Academics v Professional Staff Cricket Match


I love playing cricket! I qualify that statement – I love playing cricket twice a year…no more. As Danny Glover said famously (and repeatedly) to Mel Gibson: “…I’m getting too old for this shit”.

Yesterday, I played in the time-honoured traditional Academics v Professional Staff Cricket Match at La Trobe (known informally as the ‘Dons v Hawks’). The match goes back to 1985, and I first played in this fixture in 1998, playing almost every year since (we managed to revive it after a few years of recent inactivity). It used to be a 35-over-a-side match on Sunday afternoon; but as times have changed, with increasing difficulty of securing sufficient participation, we shortened it to a Twenty20 match on a mid-week evening straight after work (I’m on the 4-person organising committee). That worked a treat!

The event was a bona fide success – we even had the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson come along to present the Credit Union Trophy to the winners. Full match report here (see pp.9-10), but in short, but we (Dons) made it three in a row (overall historical head-to-head about even), managing to bowl the Admin Staff out for a paltry 82 in a low-scoring affair (the outfield was extremely heavy), with the successful reply of 4/84 coming in comfortable time, albeit conservatively – the only time I actually like seeing Hawks lose! I was pleased with my return of one catch, 2/11 and 7* (I was there at the finish).

The body does not get much time to recover (I did say two matches per year). Next Wednesday, in a very different match, our School of Economics and Finance takes on Monash University’s Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS) in a fixture dating back to my first year at LTU of 1997. In almost every single year from 1997-2009, I was responsible for organising the La Trobe end of the bargain. When playing away, this involved getting a team together (including ring-ins from other Schools for a full team), as well as organising practice sessions, playing gear and a match ball. When playing at home, it involved the additional responsibilities of hiring the ground (Lower Playing Fields) and arranging light refreshments for after the game in the Donald Whitehead Building Level 4 Tea Room. This event is an important annual social event, and had the benefit of academic interaction with some of our contemporaries at Monash.

UPDATE: We lost the match against CoPS, as usual (those guys train for weeks before-hand). Gutted! As seen below, I absolutely cruised through to 23 before being out LBW, despite clearly edging the ball first. Can we get DRS for social matches as well?