Devoted to cricket: Northcliffe man reaches 100th game milestone at cricket country week

Aaron Brown & Melissa PedeltyManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Mason Abbot at his 100th country week cricket game.
Camera IconMason Abbot at his 100th country week cricket game. Credit: Supplied

After a lifetime of dedication to cricket, one Northcliffe man has reached the significant milestone of 100 country week cricket games.

Mason Abbott reached the milestone on January 18 during Warren Blackwood Cricket Association’s D-section match against Great Southern Cricket Association.

He is only the third WBCA player to do so in the association’s history.

Abbott — who plays for the Northcliffe Cricket Club in the WBCA — said he was thrilled to have reached such a significant milestone in a sport he and his family have loved as long as he can remember.

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“It has taken 24 consecutive years of senior country week to reach 100 games and I’ve enjoyed the cricket played with my teammates and the challenges along the way,” he said.

In a pre-game speech from WBCA president Jodi Johnston and Western Australian Cricket Association representative James Hewitt, both touched on the significance of Abbott’s milestone and his constant dedication to the WBCA and his community.

“(The speeches) made me realise it was sort of a big achievement and I was quite proudly actually,” Abbott said.

“It was one to remember and just to have people acknowledge the 100th game and what I’ve done for the association made me proud.”

In his 100th game at Alan Edwards Park, the 50-year-old had an outstanding match, bowling 17 overs straight and finishing with figures of 17-2-5-80.

He also got his fifth wicket on the last ball of his spell and stroked 34 from 32 balls with six fours.

“We came up short on the run chase by 11 runs but it was a great game of cricket to be involved in, a fantastic day’s cricket,” he said.

“It’s great seeing the younger guys come through and giving them some advice at mid-on.

“My father has passed away now and I just gave my dad the thumbs up and dedicated it to him.”

Abbott— who has been playing cricket since the age of 15 — said he loved being involved in country cricket and encouraging the next generation’s love of the sport.

“It’s good to play cricket in twilight of my career and see the young kids come through, that’s what it’s about,” he said.

“It’s about passing your knowledge on and handing on the baton.”

In the WBCA competition, Abbott holds a 20-year record for best bowling in an innings — eight wickets for eight runs — and the unusual record for most not outs at 26 for Northcliffe.

He averages 17.23 with the bat, making three 50s, amassing 982 runs and incredibly only three ducks from 83 innings.

However, Abbott is more the bowler than batter.

He has taken the second most amount of wickets now with 114 from 803 overs, with 112 maidens and averages 20.49 with the ball with an economy rate of 2.91 runs per over.

Abbott said he had a number of cricket highlights he held to high regard over the years but none more than playing in the A-section for WBCA at country week and defeating Bunbury for the first time more than 10 years ago.

“Bowling them out for under 100 runs and being out there for the winning runs was something special,” he said.

“Also, belting 74 runs and taking 5-22 in the same match against Albany, who went on to win the tournament, was a satisfying personal achievement.”

Mr Abbott said he intended to continue to be involved in country cricket wherever he can.

“I hope there’s many more for me to play, as I enjoy everything about the week’s tournament and it’s important for our cricket association to have players putting their hand up for country week and keep presenting two sides.”

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