Cricket Umpires Australia
Victoria win Crockett Shield
The Victorian Umpires & Scorers Association have retained the Crockett Shield with a 99-run victory over the South Australian Umpires & Scorers Association in Adelaide over the Easter weekend.
VCAUSA 7-199 (40 Overs) Daryl Brigham 74, Steve Brne 50, John Richards 33, Jarred Wilton 2-7, Mick Williamson 2-38
SACUSA 9-100 (40 Overs) Adrian Drosd 27, Steve Brne 2-8, Greg Azzopardi 2-6
Since 1931, cricket officials from the states of Victoria and South Australia have taken turns to host the competition and associated social functions on a biennial basis. This was the 40th time that the VCAUSA and the SACUSA have met for the contest, which has been known as the ‘Crockett Shield’ since 1947, when the son of Victorian Test cricket umpire, Bob Crockett, donated an impressive trophy named in honour of his father.
Many cricket experts of the time regarded Bob as the best cricket umpire Australia had to offer, and some had nicknamed him the ‘Prince of Umpires.’ His record of standing in 32 Test matches held firm for nearly 70 years, when it was broken by Tony Crafter in 1992 – Tony himself having played in the Crockett Shield in 1977, when he contributed 63 not out to SA’s win, and in 1981 when he made 56 in SA’s loss. Other Test umpires to have played in the Crockett Shield include Dave Elder (Vic), Dick Cocks (SA), Ray Isherwood (Vic), Max O’Connell (SA), Len King (Vic), Bruce Martin (SA), Rex Whitehead (Vic), and Daryl Harper (SA).
Sometimes players in the match are privileged to be umpired by Test cricket or Sheffield Shield umpires, too. Some who have stood in this important contest include John McMenamin (S/Shld, SA), (Fred Godson S/Shld, SA), Robin Bailhache (Test, SA/Vic), and Peter Cronin (Test, SA). This year, the match was umpired by SACUSA Secretary, Michael Farrow, and National Umpiring Panel member, Ash Barrow.
Outside of the match itself, attendees are invited to join in the festivities of a Good Friday night Welcome Dinner; a Saturday night Presentation Dinner; the ‘K C Butler Trophy’ event on Easter Sunday (where families compete in a mystery event for an award named in honour of SACUSA hero, Keith C Butler, who participated in the interstate competition for many years from 1937 as both a player and a spectator); and a Monday morning Farewell Breakfast. In 2017 Victoria won both the Crockett Shield, which was played at Henley High School, and the K C Butler Trophy, which took the form of a ‘Board Games Bonanza’ held at the Adelaide Rowing Club. The current standing in the Crockett Shield is 20 wins to Victoria and 18 wins to South Australia.
Some very special celebrations took place during the event this year in addition to the cricket win itself. Attendees raised their glasses to Margaret and Cyril Andrews, who have participated for decades, because they had reached their 60th wedding anniversary during Easter week. Several of their Crockett Shield friends from both states celebrated with them. This year also marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 match in which Max O’Connell made the highest ever individual score of 117. He was joined by Victorian colleague, Peter Hooper, with both gentlemen presenting trophies on the Saturday night. A highlight of the evening was that it was hosted by well-known former ABC sports commentator, Roger Wills, who was a thoroughly entertaining and insightful Master of Ceremonies.
It’s clear that almost one hundred years ago cricket officials felt that it was important to connect on a professional and social level - the evolution of the Crockett Shield is testament to that. The Spirit of Cricket is alive and well in this goodwill event, and friends from Victoria and South Australia who’ve met purely through this competition are keen to see the tradition continue indefinitely.
VCAUSA Match Awards
Ian McGregor Medal – Player of the Match – Daryl Brigham
Cronin Medals – Umpires Michial Farrow and Ash Barrow
Howard Medals – Scorers Neil Ricketts and Trevor Finlayson
Graeme Bugge Batting Trophy – Daryl Brigham (74 runs)
Ian Stuart Bowling Trophy – Steve Brne (7 overs, 2 maidens, 2/8)
Ray Isherwood Fielding Trophy – Jamie Wyatt
SACUSA’s Match Awards
Gladstone Jones Batting Trophy – Adrian Drosd (27 runs)
Peter Weddell Bowling Trophy – Jarred Wilton (4 overs, 2/7)
George McDonagh Fielding Trophy – Michael Williamson
And The Skull Award – Rod McKinnon (VCAUSA)
Further match analysis and history of the Crockett Shield can be found below.