CONVERSATIONS

CHATTING WITH LES QUARRELL

VCV: You were still playing against the young blokes until a couple of years ago. How did you get into veterans cricket?

LQ: Arthur Pritchard. I knew him from my VJCA days. He promised me the world if I signed with Essendon. I was only 58 at the time. He said he’d get me a game.

VCV: Why Essendon? You were born and bred in Richmond. You’ve done a Kevin Sheedy?

LQ: Not so. Richmond Union didn’t have a team when I started in Veterans cricket.

VCV: You’ve made a 100 hundreds. Is that true?. How would you know? Did you put a mark on the back of the bat like Mark Waugh every time you made a ton?

LQ: No, not a 100 hundreds. That’s wrong. It’s 108. Wrote every one of them down too. Made 8 in one year as a kid.

VCV: You’re highly respected as VCV Chairman of Selectors and an Australian selector. You can make or break or break careers? Do you feel any pressure?

LQ: Not really. I’ve got good help and there’s always MyCricket. Could be time to handpass the National job to someone else though.

VCV: Tell me about that magnetised team sheet. Was that your idea or did you pinch it from footy?

LQ: Yea pinched it from footy. It’s brilliant!

VCV: You’ve been described as a colourful character.  

LQ: Dunno what you’re talking about.

VCV: Does VCV have any colourful characters we can talk about?

LQ: Veterans cricket’s full of them. More characters than you can poke a stick at.

VCV: Like who?

LQ: Well Essendon cricket practice for a start. Like Billy Wigmore practicing in a moon boot

VCV: You’ve given a bit to footy and cricket over the years. Life memberships at the Richmond Junior FC and the mighty Burroughs, a Cricket Victoria 50 year service award and now life membership at Caulfield. But no life membership at Essendon. How come?

LQ: Only been there 7 years. They run a tight ship at Essendon. They give you nothing. Can’t even get a biro without an invoice.

VCV: Noticed you’ve been getting out stumped a bit lately. Is your eyesight going?

LQ: No, No, No. Had a few health issues a couple of years ago. A bit of tendonitis in the groin. Prostate problem and high blood pressure. All that’s fixed now. Last couple of years have been good.

VCV: So how are you coping in lockdown?

LQ: Missing cricket a bit. Cricket twice a week kept me fit. Can’t wait to get back out on the park again? When’s the first game?


CHATTING TO DICK STUMBLES

DB: You’ve had an interesting career both on and off the field. Tell us about it?

RS:  My first job was an Audit Clerk for Peat Marwick Mitchell – now KPMG. I’ve been an auctioneer. I had a career as a  lead light craftsman and a good one at that … good enough to twice get into Home Beautiful. I’ve been a workplace Aboriginal Development trainer and a school teacher.

DB: If you could have been anything in your life , what would it have been?

RS: What I am today – whatever that is.

DB: Name 3 people you would invite to a dinner party

RS: David Attenborough, Robyn Williams and Barack Obama

DB: How far can you trace your family history back

RS: On my mother’s side – The Battle of Trafalgar. I was named after my Great Great Great Uncle, Lt Richard Anderson. Got his pistol and a copy of his diaries.

On my father’s side, my GG GF was Town clerk of Wollongong. His brother nabbed the bushranger Captain Starlight

DB: Tell us about your interest in sport. What’s your favourite?

RS: I love Baseball, Cricket and Golf … all hard to play.

DB: Do you think cricket is a team game?

RS: Most certainly. I always reckon a champion team will always beat a team of champions.

DB: Tell us about your finest cricketing moment (in less 3000 words)

RS: Being picked in the Australian Over 70s team to tour England in 2016

DB: Who’s the most admired cricketer you played with or against?

RS: I played with Tony Leigh (Footscray and Victoria) for a couple of years. … played the game hard but a true gentleman.

I played against Colin McDonald (Brighton CC) … a lesson in concentration.

DB: What’s the most memorable cricket ground you’ve played on?

RS: John Paul Gettys Wormsley park estate in a game against the Queens Household.

DB: How many games of cricket have you played?

RS: Maybe 600 plus. I’ve been playing since I was 17 (with just a few breaks with kids and life generally!)

DB: Besides your wife and cricket, what turns you on in life?

RS: I love chocolate! And visually … natural wilderness

DB: What does VCV mean to you?

RS: Playing the game I love against a bunch of blokes that keep you honest and laughing – most

of the time! And the opportunity to travel to all corners of the world playing cricket. I still can’t believe it!

DB: What advice would you give fellow Vet cricketers

RS: Play on. You’re a long time looking at the lid!