The green at Victoria Barracks, with the sandstone barracks building (completed in 1846, clock and bell added 1856) in the background, looking a picture on a beautiful autumn afternoon.  The picture above shows the view which the batting side has while watching the match.

(Editor’s note) It was the Victoria Barracks player who in the 1850s, originally developed what became the SCG; they also claim that their soldier spectators who came from the Barracks and supported them are the originators of the term “to barrack” as used in Australia.  (This is disputed by etymologists who ascribe the term either to Melbourne or Ireland) 

C.C.N.S.W. was invited by Cricket NSW to represent the civilian population of NSW v the Army at the SCG to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the SCG. Arising from that game C.C.N.S.W. and the Army jointly bought “The Barrackers’ Cup” which is kept in the Army Museum at Victoria Barracks and occasionally at the request of the C.C.N.S.W. Match Manager brought out on the day The ball with which C.C.N.S.W. bowled in the150th anniversary game can be seen in the SCG Museum.

To quote from the Army web site: “Victoria Barracks is one of the best-known examples of military architecture in Australia. The Regency-style Victoria Barracks were designed by Lieutenant-Colonel George Barney, who also built Fort Denison and reconstructed Circular Quay. Most of barracks was constructed using locally quarried sandstone between 1841 and 1849. The barracks were occupied by British troops up until 1870 and then taken over by the New South Wales colonial forces. After the Federation in 1901, Victoria Barracks housed the various headquarters responsible for administering and co-coordinating the military. Between 1931 and 1936 the barracks was home to the Royal Military College of Australia and from July 1938 to July 1940 it also housed the Command and Staff School. Today, Victoria Barracks is home to the Headquarters of Forces Command. The Barracks are widely considered to be one of the best examples of a military barracks in the world”


Famous fact: the regency-styled Victoria Barracks in Paddington was built by convicts between 1841-1846.  It’s a significant heritage site and home to the headquarters of Forces Command. Hidden amongst the original sandstone buildings is a lush quadrangle oval with 3 grassy strips in the centre square. It’s as close as you get to playing colonial cricket in the modern era. 

With warmish weather (32º+ degrees) the opposition arrived in their uniforms with patches revealing a very special set of skills; combat, artillery, ordnance, and most holding senior officer ranks. They were a fit looking squad, what you’d expect from serving ADF members. 

The toss was supervised by CCNSW’s very own elite umpire Jed ‘The Finger’ Wesley-Smith, and we suspect Tom Robertson (CCNSW spiritual leader) let the Army’s Major-General skipper choose the strategic imperative for the 30 over format. Army to bat first.  

The green deck was lively early on, as was the hard charging spell from Sherville (“Wes”) Hall and Ed Robertson. Hall seamed a perfect length delivery in his first over to knock over McQuirty, on his way to an impressive 4-2-3-1, while Ed Robertson steamed in with venom and without luck for 5-0-11-1. A double bowling change introduced Shane Peterson and Mitch Sturt into the attack with immediate success. Shane bowled tight lines for a very respectable 5-1-12-1 and Mitch went bang-bang picking up 3-0-4-2, with John Finucane comfortably agile behind the pegs taking every chance offered. 

Quick score check. Alpha Charlie for Army at 4-19 after 11 overs, and in a bit of strife early on. 

Enter the spinners on a hardball turner. Adam Khamis and Luke Holman applied some target discrimination to pick up 4 scalps in combo. Adam bamboozled the Army’s senior ranks collecting 4-1-14-1, and Luke flighted his way to 4-0-27-2 including a sharp piece of fielding running-out the well-set Haskins well out of his ground. When their spell finished Army were in all sorts at 8-81 in the 25th over.       

Only 3 more overs were needed to wrap up the Army tail, Emanuel Mouglalis with 2-0-11-0, Ben Scott taking a cheap scalp 1-0-5-1 and Ed Robertson  rear guarding the innings and picking up the final wicket of Kirkwood. Army all out for 91 in 28 overs. CCNSW needing a sliver more than 3 per over to chase down the total.

Emanuel Mouglalis and debutant Ben Scott marched out to the middle and patiently took their time against the Army’s opening bowling pair. Emanuel (1) missed one, straight enough for Jed ’The Finger’ to send him back. When Tom Robertson joined Scott in the centre they plundered anything short and wide. Tom (30* retired not out) from his tradecraft offside bullish stroke play and Ben Scott (20* retired noy out) joined him in the sheds shortly after. Mitch Sturt (3) didn’t stay long and the run chase reached 2-70 in the 15th over. After drinks Ed Robertson (23* retired not out) and Josh Heldarskard (17*) gave the Army more misery quickly passing the target total. When Adam Khamis (0) departed for a first ball quack, CCNSW’s innings concluded at 3-109 in 20 overs: a real demolition job by CCNSW.

The after-match highlight was an invitation into the Officer’s mess for a debriefing (also known as a mission interrogation), where we enjoyed a few cold beers and some tall tales with the Officers who were absolute gentlemen. Great game in a scenic setting; a perfect Thursday afternoon.   

The Team was: –  Ben Scott 20* ret not out, Emmanuel Mouglalis 1, Tom Robertson.(c) 30* ret not out, Mitch Sturt 3, Joshua Heldarskard 17* Edward Robertson 23* ret not out, Adam Khamis 0, John Finucane (w) dnb, Luke Holman dnb, Shane Peterson dnb, Sherville Hall dnb,

The Result was: –

Victoria Barracks XI: -10-91 (28 Overs) 

Lost to

C.C.N.S.W.: – 3-108 (20.3 Overs) (Tom Robertson 30*)

By 7 wickets

FoWs: – 1-5 (E. Mouglalis), 2-68 (M. Sturt), 3-108 (A. Khamis)

The Bowling was: – S. Hall 4-1-3-1; Edward Robertson 5-0-11-1; S. Peterson 5-0-12-1; M. Sturt 3-0-4-2; A. Khamis 4-1-14-1; L. Holman 4-0-27-2; E. Mouglalis 2-0-11-0; B. Scott 1-0-5-1

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – One to J. Finucane (w); one to each of Joshua Heldarskard, L. Holman,  S. Peterson, B. Scott, one anonymous

Run outs: – One to Luke Holman

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