The Story So Far……
The first official game for cricketers over the age of 60 was played at Brighton, Victoria in 2003. The brainchild of Life Member John Hammer, the game featured cricket enthusiasts north and south of the Yarra River. Publicity surrounding the game attracted interest from the Australian Cricket Society (ACS) and in Country Victoria leading to the formation of the Victorian Over 60’s Cricket Association (VOSCA).
Interest led to the creation of new clubs Bayside, Essendon, Ringwood and Whitehorse joining VOSCA. Since then, the number of clubs has grown every year with 28 Over 60’s clubs fielding teams on Sundays and mid-week in season 2021/22. Playing rules are tailored for veteran cricketers with the emphasis on participation, fellowship and staying fit and healthy rather than a winning at all costs attitude.
Victorian success proved to be the springboard for the growth of Veterans Cricket around Australia. In 2006, John Hammer and Dr John Beaton organised the first Over 60’s National Championship in Canberra with 4 States competing. Its success saw the creation of Seniors Cricket Australia that was tasked with organising future annual National Championships.
In 2016, 42 teams from all States competed in 4 Divisions of Over 60’s and 2 Divisions of Over 70’s cricket with Victoria winning the John Hammer Cup for the 5th time.
The first dedicated O70’s Australian Championships was held in Adelaide in November 2017 with Victoria winning the Division 1 Doug Turbill Trophy and Victoria also taking home the Division 2 Dutchy Holland Trophy. Victoria’s dominance was again apparent when it completed a clean sweep of all 4 divisions at the 2017 Australian O60’s Championships.
In 2017 in acknowledgement of the growing interest in Veterans Cricket, Cricket Australia asked Seniors Cricket Australia to extend its reach to manage the game for cricketers over the age of 50 years. Agreement saw the creation of a new body – Veterans Cricket Australia (VCA) – with each State changing their name to reflect the new organisational structure.
2017/18 saw the formation of the VCV Over 50’s competition – 3 divisions, 21 teams. The season culminated in Victoria entering 5 teams in the inaugural Over 50’s Australian Championships in Orange NSW in March 2018, winning the Division 1 title.
In 2019, 32 teams from all States competed in 4 Divisions of Over 60’s and 3 Divisions of Over 70’s cricket. Victoria’s streak of 3 consecutive Championship wins came to an end in 2019 with South Australia taking honours for the first time.
Six teams represented the VCV in the Over 50’s National Championship held in Perth, Western Australia in late 2019. Once again, Victoria was successful in bringing home two premierships – including the Division 1 title in a game played on the famous WACA Oval.
The Best of the Best from around Australia now have the opportunity of Australian selection, donning the Baggy Green and even enjoying an Ashes tour. Since 2011 Australian O50’s, O60’s and O70’s teams have competed against various teams and competitions, with several VCV representatives playing for their country.
Late 2018 saw Australia competing against seven other nations winning the inaugural Over 50’s World Cup in Sydney. The second Over 50’s World Cup held in Cape Town, South Africa, was unfortunately abandoned halfway through with the worldwide COVID-19 health crisis.