Over the history of the Cricketers’ Club playing teams since we started playing in the C&S in 1971, certain cricketers stand out as preeminent. We cannot rely purely on statistics as so many of these prior to 2002 have been lost but we can supplement with the recollections of some of their contemporaries.
Below are recollections of our two long serving former international cricketers from the 1970s and three further cricketers in the 1980s who played a major role in the development of the Club.
We hope in due course to supplement these with brief summaries of some of the pre-eminent cricketers from later decades so that they will not be forgotten by later generations
Legends from the 1970s
Venkataraman (“Mani”) Subramanya
Seasons Played: (15) 1971-1986; Tours: Nil
“A former Indian Test player who played 9 Tests as an all rounder 1965-1968 before migrating to Australia.. Described in his Test playing days as a “tall adventurous right-handed batsman with a good eye and powerful wrists, a medium pace leg break change bowler and a reliable field.”
In his later CCNSW days as well as being a top order right hand batsman, he became both a right hand medium /off break and slow left arm bowler. Although he was about 35 when he first played for the Club, in the memories of his contemporaries at CCNSW he is generally considered the best batsman ever to play regularly for the Club.
Seasons Played: 1971 -2019 (48 seasons) (umpire since 2019) Tours: 12
Keith Elloy was a schoolboy prodigy who played international cricket for Singapore aged 16. He migrated to Australia in his early twenties and has only ever played for CCNSW as the demands of his job prevented his playing grade. A small man very quick on his feet, he always looked unhurried and elegant, specialising in the cover drive off both front and back foot. He was also an elegant cutter. He rarely hooked or pulled. He has played for the Club for an unprecedented 48 seasons since the early 1970s.
He was also an occasional medium pace swing bowler in his youth and could stand in as keeper. Both bowling and keeping declined as he was troubled by bad knees in later years He played for the City and Suburban side before switching to Masters over 40s cricket in the early nineties. He was one of the players who helped set up the initial Masters over 40s league in 1992 and was a member of the league winning Masters team in 1994-95.
He was on the first club tour to Fiji in 1989 and went on another 11 tours, captaining and managing the 2014 tour to Asia.
Legends from the 1980s
Seasons Played: 30 seasons – 1986-2016; Tours: 18
Dennis Cameron was a tall, aggressive, technically correct opening or top order left hand bat and right hand slow bowler who bowled off 2 paces with a high arm action. Blessed with large hands he could bowl slow medium in-swingers combined with finger spun leg breaks often pitched in the right hand batsman’s blind spot on leg stump. He was also a very reliable first slip or could field in the outfield where his baseball training allowed for an accurate and flat response to the stumps. In later years bone spurs limited his mobility and his batting became less productive.
He played initially for the City and Suburban team but then in the late 90s started playing regularly for the Club’s Masters over 40 side and was a member of the league winning team in 1994-95
He was a prolific tourist responsible for organizing the first Club tour, which was to Fiji in 1989 and went on another 17 tours over the period 1989 to 2015.
Seasons Played: (18) 1982-2000; Tours: 5
A small man but an authoritative presence who started playing regularly for CCNSW in the early 80s after about 20 seasons with Manly Grade Club, primarily in 2nd grade. Always immaculate on the field, he was a master technician as a keeper, rarely hurried or needing to dive; liked keeping to spinners but one of his specialities was stumpings on the leg side standing up to medium pace. A stubborn defensive tail end batsman and a quiet but effective captain who loathed to lose.
His major talent was his ability over about 15 seasons to persuade high class players to play for CCNSW. He had strong ties with Qantas (for whom he worked) and with the Armed Forces, none of whose players could regularly take the time to practice and play grade cricket over two successive weekends. This led to CCNSW becoming a formidable C&S team in the late 80s and the 1990s. While only formally captaining a couple of seasons, Ron remained selector and de facto manager and was to bequeath a strong and relatively young team to Steve Taylor at the turn of the century.
He also played a major part in organising some of the early tours to Asia, Malaysia, North America and the West Indies
Seasons Played: 32 seasons: 1984-2016; Tours: 10
Charles Jonathan(“Joff”) Johnson was a former army officer who had played Combined Services in Australia (once scoring 96 at the SCG v the NSWCA) and Minor County cricket in England for Cambridgeshire (once scoring 98 v the University at Fenners). A prolific technically correct left arm opening batsman with a strong defence who specialized in the off and cover drive, he was also a not inconsiderable right hand medium swing bowler. His bowling fell away after the 1980s because of bad knees.
He played C&S cricket till about 2000 when increasing immobility led him to give the game away for several seasons before medical treatment enabled him to return for the Masters over 40s and Classics over 50s for whom he remained a consistently reliable player.
He was a member of the first Club tour to Fiji in 1989 and was to go on a 8 further tours to Asia (3 times), New Zealand (twice) and to England, South Africa and West Indies where he created a sensation by opening the batting in a sun hat vs. a then current West Indies opening bowler much to the locals’ incredulity.