Here I have listed a team of the best NT born DDCC players that I have witnessed over nearly four decades of watching, coaching and administering the game in the NT.
There will be some debate about certain selections, as there should be, because those that made the squad are my opinion. It wasn’t always easy, but the numbers and my observations at domestic and representative level were used as the basis for selection – noting that player birthplace is an essential selection condition. Also, since it is a DDCC selected team, those very good players from other NT cricket jurisdictions who didn’t manage to grace the fields of the Top End, are not included.
Alice Springs Cricket has been blessed with some magnificent home-grown talent, and like the DDCC, has had some wonderful players pass through – but unless they played in the DDCC, none made my home-grown top team.
Better known for his brief, but outstanding deeds playing AFL with North Melbourne, Adrian McAdam springs to mind as a home-grown cricketer who would surely be a serious candidate for my best ever team but he didn’t employ his considerably fearsome fast bowling talents at DDCC level.
Among those “passing through” the Red Centre and who have represented the NT at Under 17 and 19 level with distinction are former Aussie test cricket coach Tim Nielsen (born in England - 101 first class games for SACA) and the South Australian born Southam brothers, Ben (who had a brief stint with Tracy Village) and Joel. Top End born, Steve Larder, was a cricketer with enormous talent but a couple of issues precluded his inclusion: firstly he was just before my time and secondly, he waived a budding cricket calling and instead pursued a Rugby League career in Australia (Illawarra Steelers) and England (Castleford).
My squad of Territory born cricketers follows normal structure practice and allows a team to be selected to play either form of white ball cricket, and of course, the longer red ball game.
Jake Weatherald (bat)
D’Arcy Short (bat/bowl)
Andrew Moo (bat/ reserve keeper)
Ian Redpath (bat/bowl)
Ken Vowles (bat)
Jacob Dickman (bat)
Darren Treumer (keeper/bat)
Damion Reeves (bowl)
Brad Hatton (bowl)
Mark Hatton (bowl)
David King (bowl)
Ken Skewes (bowl/bat)
Darryl Conroy (bowl/bat)
Ashley Williams (bat)
Gary Stevens (bowl)
D’Arcy Short and Jake Weatherald pretty much pick themselves as opening batsmen in white ball matches with Short possibly moving down the order to around six where his left-arm ‘leggies’ may also prove useful in an allrounder capacity.
Either Andrew Moo or Jacob Dickman could move up to replace Short at the top of the order in red ball games – Moo would act as wicketkeeper if required.
Ian Redpath and Ken Vowles are my first choice selections at four and five respectively – both are more than handy with the ball and could be used to soak up overs in all forms of the game.
Ideally, a batsman/bowler would fill the number six position with either Dickman or Ashley Williams getting the nod as batsmen in the first instance. Depending on conditions and the opposition strength, bowler/batsmen allrounders in Darryl Conroy and Ken Skewes may be preferred to fill that crucial spot.
Darren Treumer is my first-choice keeper, and while he is listed at seven in a tentative batting order, that is probably too low, and he is more than capable anywhere in the higher middle order.
As a tearaway quick, Damion Reeves played his best cricket in South Australia – his reward was selection with SACA at first class level. Reeves could also bat and I recall the time when he scored a century playing for the NT against a SACA Second XI at Adelaide Oval No 2. Reeves had already played first class cricket with SACA and the coach at the time remarked that he didn’t know Reeves could bat – my thoughts then, and they remain, were, hmmm!
Brad and Mark Hatton served the NT and their club well – almost 900 DDCC first grade wickets between them speaks volumes about their contribution. Each has played a part in representative cricket (Mark also at first class level). Mark is the only genuine spinner in the squad but could easily handle that task.
David King and Gary Stevens would be the ‘go to’ bowlers especially in red ball cricket. Stevens wasn’t much with the bat but as a lively medium pacer he was the front-liner for East Darwin, Tracy Village East and Tracy Village throughout most of his playing days. King was the ultimate bowler - quick, medium, into the wind it didn’t matter, and he ‘valued’ his wicket when batting. Both King and Stevens could effectively close-up one end for long periods and if batsmen erred, they would pounce and take their wicket.
The absolute strength of the team is its allrounders, each of whom could carry the burden as sole batsman or bowler.