Flexible, agile and adaptable. Yes, we are talking about James Bett. Everyone’s favourite left arm finger spinner may have completed one of the great off-season rebrands, as he took to – and absolutely nailed – the novel role of Master of Ceremonies for Melbourne University Cricket Club’s ‘Zoom’ based presentation night.
The transfer from Brunswick street to the living room was seamless for MUCC, as we went about celebrating a terrific season 19/20; a year flush with Club and personal success. For the women’s XI, huge strides were taken as the team secured a second-place finish, and for the men, a sixth Club Championship to go with a 1st XI minor premiership.
We heard from coaches Emma Collard and Antony Keely at the start of the night; both of whom praised the resilience and togetherness of their respective playing groups, equally excited for the prospect of more (vaccine pending) success in the near future.
Collard, who has been a mainstay of the Women’s XI in recent years lauded the successful recruitment of the Club in the off-season, highlighted by Brianna Herman’s receipt of the Coach’s Award in her first year at MUCC. It was once again the Cath Grant Show when it came to the statistical awards; Grant, who is considering building an extended personal trophy cabinet, claimed the batting and bowling awards. An incredible effort from the most loyal of MUCC servants.
For the men, Antony Keely reflected on the most successful season in recent times. A year that saw the emergence of young players and the continued success of some more experienced ones, allowing MUCC to find an enviable level of consistency.
Om Patel was duly rewarded for a mightily impressive first season at the Club, taking out the Coach’s award alongside Jacob Stevenson, as well as the bowling award in the 4th and 5th XI’s. Meanwhile, Alex Gregory and Steven Reid took out the batting and the bowling awards for the 1st XI in their minor premiership year.
The night also gave the Club a chance to recognise and to thank Mark Simpson. Simmo, who has accepted a coaching role at Mont Albert Cricket Club, leaves MUCC a life member, a premiership captain, and former 1st XI captain. His contribution to MUCC could never be done justice on a Zoom call, and we all look forward to catching up with him to reflect and thank him once again for all he has done.
While some donned black tie, others MUCC blazer and Harrison Emms even set himself in the Crown Palladium, it could never be quite the same as being together. We look forward to a time we can all gather and celebrate a truly successful year.
See below for a full list of award winners and some outstanding photos thanks to Ben Rolfs
Batting: Cath Grant: 361 runs @ 40.11
Bowling: Cath Grant: 24 wickets @ 7.88
Batting: Jonathan Stone: 292 runs @ 36.5
Bowling: Om Patel: 17 wickets @ 13.29
Batting: Alex Gall: 326 runs @ 32.6
Bowling: Om Patel: 16 wickets @ 20.5
Batting: Nick Ritchie: 337 runs @ 37.4
Bowling: Jacob Stevenson: 17 wickets @ 17.59
Batting: Isaiah Borgas: 401 runs @ 81.00
Bowling: Peter Hatzoglou: 20 wickets @ 16.10
Batting: Alex Gregory: 635 runs @ 52.92
Bowling: Steven Reid: 33 wickets @ 17.97
TICKNER AWARD- Best First Year Player:
- Akon Mawien
- Odette Lopez
CLUBMAN OF THE YEAR:
- James McNeil
Men’s Coach’s Award: Om Patel/ Jacob Stevenson
Women’s Coach’s Award: Brianna Herman
Men’s Most Improved: Max Hatzoglou/ Peter Hatzoglou
Women’s Most Improved: Jahnvi Tandon
Super Slam Player of the Tournament: Andrew Young
Fielding Award: Noah Croes