Thanks Ben

For every game-breaking run out. Every full-length diving stop, every catch, knock down and pinpoint throw.

Thanks for every big-spinning leg-break, fizzing wrong-un I still can’t pick and especially the stump-to-stump slider that grabs a pad from a back-foot defence.

Thanks for turning every one into a two – even with a 5-metre turning circle. For finding a gap where there isn’t one, and for buying a $1000 bat just to look at. 

For making us giggle when you’re at point; The Thommo Rattler, the space helmet in the shadow, telling Millsy to mark centre with his nose…

Thanks for making us laugh everywhere else, too; the man behind the door-frame, the Bettsy slow blink, the penchant for piffing a pint glass…

For every like, follow, favourite and share. Thank you for everything you’ve done behind the lens and the laptop. Every photo, filter, every video and edit. 

Every debutant has had their own graphic to share, every century-maker, every five-wicket-taker – even the President’s ostentatious eyewear got a run.  

The videos too have given us moments to savour; From “someone in the car,” to “winding up the window,” MUCC’s own Hawk-eye and Diesel’s trip to the moon. 

For the Fizzers, the “Kachows” the “Woody I’m slipping!”s, the Finding Nemo quotes, the “time in-a tha villllaaa.”

For never missing a fairway – but sometimes a tee time. Thanks for these happy memories, for countless more. 

Thanks for all of it Wagon, you are a truly great MUCCer and a very special person and a true friend.  We love you and will miss you. 



Back to McQueen Park to face the Pies and Mark Stafford couldn’t be happier. Flat, fast and small, the ground is simply one of his favourites. 


Also back into the side alongside the big Squid is JP. As an aside, I’ve already broken my New Year’s resolution by facing him in the nets. My word it is unpleasant, but that’s Camberwell’s problem tomorrow, go Gav!


Make no mistake, the skipper is full of confidence. When the coach was thanking Rolfsy for his contribution on Thursday night, he mentioned the outstanding work he does on the socials. Quick as a flash, Ferg – who features heavily on all social posts – quipped, “must be easy with such good subjects.” So, there’s that. 


Elsewhere, Noah Croes has been selling new tech to hopeful golfers over the Christmas period. Their hopes quickly dashed once out on course, look for our little Quokka boy to squash the hopes of the Pies on the weekend, as he busily goes about his work both behind the stumps and in the middle order.


To that end, Andrej just continues to go about his work and a big knock on the weekend could see a sponsored post on Monday – accelerate your game, Yak!



Having soaked up every bit of sun that WA has had to offer over the last couple of weeks, Reedy will be in a Grove groove (that’s a Meulemans Cricket Centre gag) come the weekend. With an easy left-handed style and a couple of handy mediums suited to the Camberwell pitch, Blake could start 23 with a bang. 



One last time with the bells, Wagon’s farewell game shapes as a big one for the Students. Keen to make their way up the ladder in the back half of the season, it looked as though Ryan was preparing a highway during the week. This is encouraged. 


In any case, Luc comes back into the side, making it Bienve-deux in the middle order. That could be feathers everywhere if the Pies miss… Additionally, Floz Nightingale embraced a full Australian experience, looking at the back of other people’s heads at Sydney Harbour for NYE. I guess 2023 can only get better from there, at least he didn’t end up on Bondi Resuce.


James Horn is another year older – wisdom TBC, but he did spend his ageing day at the Arctic Monkeys. Ask him questions about the performance, however, and he simply answers in obscurities:


How was it, James? How many secrets can I keep?

Would I have enjoyed it James? I bet you look good on the dancefloor

I wish I’d gone. Snap out of it. 



Bowling with his spin twin for the last time, UV will be looking for one more big showing. Although business didn’t stop over the Christmas period, he did find time to help his old man with some painting – now to paint the off stump. Also, wielding his 4 pound 6 ounce New Balance bat, thank goodness the Western end of Alexandra parade is closed.



Playing on Sunday of all things, the Third XI will line up at the Sports Ground – inspired by ghosts of Inner East Past (the First XI, the day before). Welcoming back Skinny Dog with all fingers in place, it’s a strong side. To that end, Hahnel also returns (There’s a shoulder in my socket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a shoulder in my socket, dear Liza, a shoulder). 

Lachie Melican has also looked a fearsome prospect since getting the ball back in his hand – the quickie sending them down at a rate of knots to go with his lusty hitting. A handy combo, it could come in handy on Sunday afternoon. 


Ale Durrant is also set to make the most of his school holidays. The all-rounder full of confidence and chicken after the Christmas break, he will likely don his Guinnes socks on Saturday as well. “My goodness, my century, 5-wicket haul combo” has a better ring to it. 


PLAYER TO WATCH: Michael Forwood.

Mate, just buy a driving iron. That’s a four-wood joke that you might get on the drive home. Any case, it was revealed during the week that Bricks just needs to watch the ball. So, if he can manage that, then Jenny’s hot bread on Riversdale Road could be offering 156g Kookaburra as an optional extra on Sunday afternoon. 



Welcoming back a whole host of exciting young MUCCers, thr Fourth XI will look to continue their dominant first half of the year in their first hit out of 2023.

Back into the side, HDT will increase average Yo-Yo, while also playing the keeper-bat combo to perfection.


Also welcoming back Tarindu, the students will be bolstered by his inclusion – the warm weather certainly his preference after returning to Artic cold on Wednesday night. The Wizard too, Om Patel enjoyed a profitable (Crypto-based) break and traditionally enjoys the first game back, so look for him to make a statement with both bat and ball on the weekend. 



Also loves Australian Open season, the Run Machine purchased a net bat over the break, because his match bat simply can’t keep up with his quirky run-making ability three times a week. Keen to see Novak in action for the first time in a couple of years, Raf will but on a Major winning display tomorrow.

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