Ian Liddell's 500th game
Ian "Reds" Liddell
500 games! That's a lot of Saturdays at the cricket.
Reds has been playing with the Waratah-Mayfield DCC for 36 years and whether it be cricket or whatever sport that takes your fancy 36 years is a long time committed to a sport and a club.
|Ian with his cricket hero Dougie
Reds is the first and will probably be the only Waratah-Mayfield player to reach the 500 game milestone. His statistics are amazing and his passion for the club is unquestionable.
He was a junior star for the then Stockton Peninsular club and graduated into the grade ranks of Waratah-Mayfield as a young teenager. He was selected straight into 2nd grade and was an immediate success and an asset to the team. Having an all-rounder with the ability that Ian possessed was a bonus to any team and it wasn't long before Ian was a permanent fixture in the 1st grade team.
He has represented Newcastle at the top level and probably should have played many more representative matches than he did. Many of the best batsmen in the district rated Ian as one of the hardest bowlers to face with the amount of movement he attained.
I have played more than half of those 500 matches with Reds and I am proud to say that the games are always fun and entertaining with him in the team. His philosophy on batting is if it's there to hit give it a whack and most times he does. I think he gets impatient with boring bowling and batting and 10 runs an over is quite the norm for Reds when he is in full flight. His bowling has always been of high quality and although not an express bowler his ability to move the ball both in the air and off the seam are his greatest assets. His fielding is up there with the best the club has ever produced and there are many batsmen who have come to grief and been run out taking on Ian's arm going for that extra run. To show his versatility at the start of this current season he even pulled on the wicket-keeping gloves when there was no one else to do the job.
Statistics don't always fully recognise the contribution players make to a club but in Ian's case they go a long way in not only confirming his ongoing commitment to the club but also of his great talent on the cricket field. I haven't even mentioned all the other behind the scene contributions Ian has been involved with over his long career, but knowing Ian he will just say it was because he enjoyed doing it and always wanted to see the club prosper.
We have been on many overseas cricket tours together and there are so many stories that I can (and cannot) begin to tell you about, suffice to say cricket has taken him to all parts of the world that he would not have even dreamed about when he started out those many years ago and introduced him to many new friends and experiences. Eventually we will write that book we have talked about, and I am sure it will be a best-seller.
As Ian's career with the club slowly winds to an end he will be remembered as one of the greatest players ever to pull on the "Baggy Blue" cap of the Waratah-Mayfield District Cricket Club.
Congratulations on reaching this milestone and I am proud to say he is my friend and it has been a privilege and a pleasure to have played with him for Waratah-Mayfield DCC.
Steve "Crunch" Christie