IT was an appreciative and humbled Shaun Mathews who accepted the 2021-22 Les Innes Memorial Medal on Wednesday night.

Mathews, of Nichols Point Cricket Club, tallied 12 votes throughout the course of the season.

He scored a total of 216 runs during the 2021-22 season, with his highest score being 76. Across 10 innings he averaged 21.6 runs.

With the ball, Mathews bowled 109.2 overs. Twenty-six of those were maidens. He conceded 278 runs but took 18 wickets. His best result with the ball was 5-57 and this came against Mildura West in Round 11.

As a fielder, Mathews took six catches.

Speaking to Mildura Weekly after his win on Wednesday night, Mathews said he was still in shock that he had won the award.

“I looked at the list of winners the other day and I thought: ‘Jeez, there is some good cricketers there’, and I’m not sure I measure up to that,” Mathews said.

Mathews said although he is sure claiming the Innes Medal is something he will look back on fondly, in the lead up to the decider this weekend, he would have liked to be playing finals cricket.

Mathews played cricket until he was about 17, before having some time off. He returned to the game at 30 and said he has been “fair dinkum” ever since.

“It came at the right time in my life,” Mathews said.

“I needed something else and cricket gave that to me and I am thankful for the game.”

While there is no denying he’s handy with both the ball and bat, Mathews said, for him, the game isn’t about that.

“I enjoy seeing the kids succeed, I love seeing the younger generation come through,” Mathews said.

Back in the game for seven years, Mathews said he has no desire to retire anytime soon.

“I’ll keep going next year,” he said.

“There’s promising signs at Nichols Point, and I know we had a rough season this year, but I think there is good things coming.”

Other award recipients announced on Wednesday night for First Division were as follows:

– Rookie of the Year: Cooper Aldridge, Mildura Settlers Cricket Club.
Aldridge made 63 runs this season, with his highest score being 15. He played six First Division matches and two in Second Division. He had an average batting score of 12.6 and took 23 wickets during the season. Aldridge took two catches.
– First Division Batting Average: Shacaya Thomas, Gol Gol. Thomas made 460 runs for the season at 57.50.
– First Division Bowling Average: Thomas Vadlja, Mildura East. Vadlja took 20 wickets for the season at 9.55.
The association also recognised the following:
– Fourth Division Batting Average: Marcus Stannard, Coomealla Wentworth. 244 runs at 48.80.
– Fourth Division Bowling Average: Cody Clifford, Merbein South. 22 wickets at 10.00.
– Third Division Batting Average: Jeremy Giddings, Coomealla Wentworth. 412 runs at 68.67.
– Third Division Bowling Average: Creagh Simes, Mildura East. 20 wickets at 6.85.
– Second Division Batting Average: Daniel Frasca, Irymple. 276 runs at 55.20.
– Second Division Bowling Average: Bradley Purdue, Mildura Settlers. 20 wickets at 8.90.
– SCA Club Curatorial Award: Mark Blows and Matt Tiley, Gol Gol Cricket Club.
– MGA Club Championship Award: Irymple Cricket Club. 489.86 points.
– MGA Champion Player Award: Chris Williams, Mildura West. 681 points.
– Don Cullinan Umpire of the Year Award: Gavan Slade.

Kemp the MVP

SUNRAYSIA Cricket Association’s Most Valuable Player in the Premier Women’s league has been awarded to Katelin Kemp from Coomealla Wentworth Cricket Club.

Kemp played 14 matches for her club this season, and at the crease made a total of 302 runs. From the 14 times Kemp batted, she was unable to be dismissed, or retired, seven times. Her highest score was in Round Six against Nichols Point Green. She made 34 runs in that match.

From the 45.5 overs Kemp bowled, she took 15 wickets. Her best figures came in Round 11, against Irymple, when she took 2-18.

It is the second time Kemp has won the award, after she was a joint winner with Shania McKinnon previously.

Kemp has been playing cricket for 10 years, although it took her a couple of years to really get into the sport.

She was introduced to cricket by her mum, Janice.

Cricket is definitely a family passion, with Kemp playing with her mum, sister Taylor, and a number of other family members.

“Pretty much my whole team is full of my cousins,” she said.

“Apart from a few, but we just call them family anyway.

“It’s definitely a family thing at Coomealla Wentworth.”

After accepting the award on Wednesday night, Kemp said she was expecting the count results to be tight and she didn’t expect to win, let alone by seven votes.

“There are some fantastic girls who ended up on that final leader board who I thought might have taken it from me,” Kemp said.

“Winning this award a second time is very special, it’s nice to know all the hard work I put in pays off.

“In saying that, I love playing cricket so it is easy to put in hard work.”

Other award recipients for the female division were as follows:

– Rookie of the Year: Abby Collihole, Setts Gol Gol Cricket Club.
Collihole made 205 runs this season, with her highest score being 32. She had an average batting score of 51.30 and took six wickets during the season. Collihole also took five catches.
– Premier Womens Batting Average: Shania McKinnon, Mildura Settlers. McKinnon made 260 runs for the season.
– Premier Womens Bowling Average: Elitama Akima, Nichols Point. Akima took 22 wickets for the season at 6.04.