Cricket: Albion to celebrate 150th

Schoolboy brothers Brendon (left) and Nathan McCullum lead their Albion senior cricket team-mates...
Schoolboy brothers Brendon (left) and Nathan McCullum lead their Albion senior cricket team-mates for the day off the field in November 1993. From left are: Grant Ford, Paul Adams, Stu McCullum, Richard King, Evan Marshall, Glen Milnes, Jason Myer (obscured), Stephen Cox, Blair Milnes, Kieran Young and Richard Wixon (obscured). Photo by Jane Dawber.
Albion Cricket Club will celebrate a remarkable feat this Easter - 150 not out.

Established in 1862, the club claims to be Australasia's oldest continuous cricket club, although life member Warwick Larkins, who is also the convener of the 150th celebrations, has his doubts as to the veracity of the claim.

''It has never been proved beyond any doubt,'' Larkins said.

''I inquired when I was in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Now the Melbourne Cricket Club [founded in 1838] is older than us, but no-one knew whether they had been continuous or not.''

A history posted on the MCC's website suggests the club has been in continuous operation, although it re-constituted itself in 1846 - 16 years before the Albion Cricket Club was formed.

Albion batsman Mark Richardson hits a four to bring up his century during his team's match...
Albion batsman Mark Richardson hits a four to bring up his century during his team's match against Kaikorai at Culling Park in October 2000. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Regardless, Albion has a wonderful history and has helped nurture some of New Zealand's finest cricketers.

Household names such as Ken Rutherford, Glenn Turner, Bert Sutcliffe, Martin Snedden, John Bracewell and even England batsman Jonathan Trott all had stints at the club.

The McCullum brothers, Brendon and Nathan, honed their skills on the sidelines while their father, Stu McCullum, carved out a club and provincial career during the 1970s, '80s and early '90s. The brothers, of course, have both gone on to represent New Zealand, with Brendon assuming the captaincy this season.

The club has won 12 senior banners and shared the title on another three occasions. Its most recent title came in 1999-2000.

In recent years, Green Island has dominated the club scene. Albion had its most successful period during the 1920s when it won four titles. The '30s and '40s were also productive decades.

To help celebrate the 150th anniversary, the club has named an Albion international team. The criteria were that the players had to have played for Albion and gone on to play international cricket.

It is very much a paper team and consequently is not a very balanced side. The bowling stocks look thin but the team could bat for days with players such as Andrew Jones, Mark Richardson, Turner, Sutcliffe, Trott, Rutherford and Brendon McCullum.

A representative team from the past 20 years has also been named.

Celebrations begin tomorrow afternoon with an official welcome at Culling Park.

On Saturday there is a golden oldies game followed by a dinner that evening at the Chisholm Park Golf Club. Professor Mark Henaghan, of the law faculty at the University of Otago, is the keynote speaker.

On Sunday, a game between the senior side and an invitation XI has been organised, and on Monday there will be a farewell at the clubrooms.

Larkins said about 130 people would attend the celebrations, with people coming from as far afield as Australia, including former New Zealand and Otago wicketkeeper Barry Milburn, who is making the trip from Queensland.

''It is not like a school or rugby club. Cricket clubs are a bit smaller but 130 people is a good turnout.''

Albion Cricket Club
Role of honour
International 12
(in alphabetic order; played for New Zealand unless stated otherwise)
John Bracewell, Billy Ibadulla (Pakistan), Andrew Jones, Brendon McCullum, Barry Milburn (wicketkeeper), Mark Richardson, Ken Rutherford, Martin Snedden, Bert Sutcliffe, Jonathan Trott (England), Glenn Turner (captain), Neil Wagner.

Best 12 from the past 20 years
PJ Cairns, Mark Craig, Grant Ford, Kevin Galliven, Jamie Glenn, Shaun Haig, Brendon Hunt, Graham Kemp, Nathan McCullum, Stu McCullum (captain), Evan Marshall, Darin Smith (wicketkeeper).

Albion's Otago captains
Alexander Downes, Charles Wilson, Earnest Blamires, Lankford Smith, Bert Sutcliffe, Glenn Turner, Ian Rutherford, Ken Rutherford, Richard Wixon, Nathan McCullum, Brendon McCullum.

Albion's NZ captains
Bert Sutcliffe,Glenn Turner, Ken Rutherford, Brendon McCullum.

Additional internationals

Harry Graham (Australia, 1893-96)
Charlie Macartney (Australia, 1907-26)
Jack Crawford (England, 1905-08)
Ray Robinson (Australia, 1936)
Billy Ibadulla (Pakistan, 1964-67)
Clare Taylor (England, 1988-2005)
Rachel Pullar (New Zealand, 1997-2002)
Jonathan Trott (England, 2007-)

William Johnston (New Zealand, 1905-07)
Reg Bell (New Zealand, 1922)
Rex Orr (New Zealand, 1949)
Tuppy Diack (New Zealand, 1959)
Gary Seear (New Zealand, 1976-79)
Paul Miller (New Zealand, 2001)

Stewie Duncan (New Zealand, 1937)
Langford Smith (New Zealand, 1946-48)
Clare Taylor (England, 1991-95)

Brian Turner (New Zealand, 1965)

Glen Denham (1984-99)

Greg Turner (Turned professional in 1984)

- Information provided by Albion Cricket Club

Albion Cricket Club
• Established in 1862 and thought to be Australasia's oldest continuous cricket club.
• 124 Albion players have represented Otago.
• 24 Albion players have represented New Zealand.
• Albion has won the senior club title 12 times and shared the title on another three occasions.
• Six New Zealanders have scored a first-class triple century and four of them have played for Albion. They are Bert Sutcliffe, Glenn Turner, Ken Rutherford and Mark Richardson.



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