of Seniors Cricket
game of Over 60s cricket in the world was played at Hurlington Park, Brighton,
Victoria in January 2003. In England Veterans cricket for players aged over 50
years has been played in several counties since the mid 1980’s.
cricket is now played in 14 countries and is predicted to be played in over 20
countries by 2012. The inaugural Australian interstate over 60s carnival was
held in Canberra in November 2006 at the ANU grounds, although this initial
carnival was very much an adhoc affair. Teams from the ACT, Tasmania, NSW and
Victoria competed. From this modest beginning 9 teams contested the first
official National Championship held in Melbourne in November 2007.
prelude to the 2008 Championships, also held in Melbourne, an ‘Australian XI’
was selected to play a ‘Test’ against a touring England over 60 team at
Hogden-Meckiff Oval in Mentone. Former Test Bowler, Geoff Dymock, captained the
Australian team with former Test fast bowler, Ian Meckiff, tossing the coin to
start the game. Two ACT players, Ron Axelby and Mike Gallagher played for the
the Canberra Championships held in November 2010, the first Official Australian
Over 60s team was selected to tour the UK in August 2011 and play a series of
games against County over 60 teams as well as 2 ‘Test matches’ against the
England over 60s team and a ‘Test’ against the Welsh National team. Ron Axelby
from the ACT was selected to Captain the Australian team. The touring team was
sanctioned by Cricket Australia who also provided caps and shirts.
touring team was: Ron Axelby (Capt, ACT), Denis Axelby (ACT), John Bell (VC,
QLD), Colin Cooke (QLD), Ross Chapman (QLD), Rob Agg (VIC), Arthur Pritchard
(VIC), Allan Reid (SA), Chris Tobin (SA), Brian Breakspear (NSW), Doug Truman
(NSW), Mike Gandy (TAS), Ian Frazer (TAS), and Ken Last (TAS). Rob Wilson from
Victoria was team Manager. John Bell and Colin Cooke had played first class
cricket with the QLD Sheffield team.
November 2011, an England Over 60s team played two ‘Test matches’ against an
Australian Eleven at Manly Oval in Sydney. The Australian team included ACT
players, Ron Axelby (Capt), Denis Axelby, Tony Paterson, Peter Howes and Mike
Gallagher. The first ‘Test’ was a very closely fought match which ended in a
tie, a first for over 60s cricket. A ‘Test’ match was also played during the
rest day at the Australian Championships in Armidale. Ron Axelby and Neil
Bulger were selected in Australian team which lost a very close and hard fought
match. Neil Bulger was named man of the match. In July 2012 an Australian Over
60s team toured the UK and played a series of matches against County teams and
4 Test matches. The Australian team included Tony Paterson and Paul Cullen from
the ACT over 60s.
2013 an Australian team toured New Zealand in an effort to promote Over 60s
cricket in that Country, ACT players, Denis Axelby, Tony Paterson and Peter
Howes were selected in the Australian Team. In Feb 2014 an Australian team
undertook a promotional tour of South Africa. Denis Axelby and Paul Cullen were
members of the Australia team.
2015, an Australian Over 60s team returned to the UK to play 14 Games against
English County teams, a ‘Test against Wales and a 3 Test series against the
English Over 60s team. Three ACT players were selected in the Australia team,
Murray Harrison (Vice Capt), Jim Martin and John Dedman. The team won the
series 2-1 to become the first Australian Over 60s team to beat the English
team in a Test match after 10 previous attempts.
rapid growth of Over 60s and Over 70s cricket in Australia, a working group was
set up to negotiate the affiliation of over 60s cricket with Cricket Australia.
Following the 2013 Championships in QLD it was agreed the National Working
Group be renamed ‘Seniors Cricket Australia’ (SCA) to better administer Seniors
cricket in Australia as well as provide a link to Cricket Australia to formally
adopt a MOU as a precursor to a formal affiliation with Cricket Australia. At
its 2014 Board meeting in Melbourne, ACT’s Ron Axelby, was elected National
President of Seniors Cricket Australia.
Cricket in the ACT
cricket has been played in Canberra (ACT) since 2006. As a foundation member,
the ACT has competed at every Australian Over 60s Cricket Championship since
the inaugural official Championship was held in Melbourne in 2007. In 2010 the
Championships were held in Canberra with the ACT team finishing second in the
Division one competition.
result of this and the increased publicity, the ACT has been able to field two
teams since the 2010 Championships. ACT Over 60s cricket is an affiliate of
Cricket ACT which provides administrative and financial support. In 2014
Cricket ACT agreed that the ACT Over 60s teams would be known as the ‘GALAXIES’
in line with the cosmic names used by other ACT Representative teams. With the
promotion of the Over 60s concept in the surrounding areas, participation
levels have increased markedly over the past 2-3 years.
matches are now played against teams from the Southern Highlands, Goulburn,
Keira, Bega, Cooma and Sydney team, Lindfield. This regular competition and by
training throughout the winter months, has resulted in the ACT Division 1 team
being very competitive against the much larger States.
2014 a combined ACT/NSW Over 60s team toured the UK to play a series of
matches against County Over 50s and Over 60s teams. The team performed very
well winning 11 out of the 15 games played. John Dedman was again in the runs
scoring 355 runs at an average of 88.8.
the ACT Division 1 team won the Australian Championships held in Adelaide by
beating the strong NSW, QLD and Tasmanian teams. This was only the 4th time in
the history of ACT cricket that an ACT Representative team has won a National
team was Ron Axelby (Capt), Denis Axelby, Peter Nelson, Neil Bulger, Vince
Bulger, Wal Hall, Ian Howe, Mike Gallagher, Paul Cullen, Tony Paterson, Brian
Read, Jim Martin, Peter Howes.
the ACT teams have not matched their Adelaide performance since then, the Division 1 team did create history by setting two
Championship records in Melbourne in 2014. The ACT Division 1 team scored the
highest score ever recorded at an Australian Championship by scoring a massive
8 for 315 off 45 overs against Western Australia. Also the ACT’s John Dedman
recorded the first ever century by belting 116 off 59 balls.