Who said growing older meant not wanting to get out on the field and catch a ball? Maybe have a bat too or hit a four? The bones may ache a bit more as a 60-plus member of the community, but the passion for a sport you have always played or followed doesn’t necessarily diminish. In fact, your commitment may grow even stronger.
Mornington Peninsula Veterans’ Cricket Club president Ian Rowland lets us in on what cricket means to him and his fellow players now that they are classed as ‘seniors’. He explains: “Most of us who are playing are ex-cricketers and some of us haven’t played for 30 years and have taken it up again. I like to describe the Veterans’ Cricket Club as a sporting Men’s Shed. It’s a great place for retired guys to come and hang out, participate in a game they love and get involved socially. The first game of over-60s cricket was played in Brighton in 2003 and was organised by John Hammer, who organised many games around Melbourne. There are now 25 veterans’ clubs across Victoria. Our first team formed 10 years ago and was founded by Laurie Hindle, who is a life member. So is his wife Glenda. The wives have a great time socialising and getting to know one another too.”
The Mornington Peninsula Veterans’ Cricket Club doesn’t have a home ground. Players had been putting bat to ball at Graydens Road Oval in Moorooduc before recently setting up digs on the main oval at the Mornington Cricket Club at Alexandra Park, which Ian and his fellow cricketers are really enjoying. Ian continues: “We’ve been lucky to successfully secure sponsorship from Mornington businesses and our home games this year will be played at Alexandra Park. We play a 16-game season and currently have 20 players, many of which are over 70 years old. Some of the current club members have played in the Australian over-70s team. Last year our club was the most successful of the 23 clubs playing veterans’ cricket in Victoria, winning 12 of their 16 games.”
Some of the guys playing with the Mornington Peninsula Veterans’ Cricket Club have a lot of time on their hands. Playing cricket with mates twice a week, 52 weeks a year fills in the gap while offering physical activity and travel too. Ian concludes: “Everyone gets a go and we don’t have an official ladder, although we do get serious about the national championships. My wife and I have met hundreds of new friends and have travelled overseas. I’ve played in South America, South Africa and the UK. It’s just great.”
If you’re interested in giving it a go, give Ian a call on 5975 1683. Everyone is welcome.