91 not out: One of Australia's oldest cricketers eyes a century

91-year-old cricketer Doug Crowell enjoying life on the pitch

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Still enjoying it: Doug Crowell (right) celebrates a wicket with his Tamworth teammates during the NSW over-70 state cricket titles in Port Macquarie. Photo: Paul Jobber

Still enjoying it: Doug Crowell (right) celebrates a wicket with his Tamworth teammates during the NSW over-70 state cricket titles in Port Macquarie. Photo: Paul Jobber

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"I'm 91 ... I think I might have another couple of years left in me yet."

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The ball isn't whistling down the pitch at quite the same pace it used to, nor is it slapping into the wicket-keeper's gloves with as much of a thud either.

But Doug Crowell is still taking up his first-slip or short mid-wicket position in the field and enjoying his cricket as much as he did 70 years ago when he first started.

The 91-year-old headed to the Port Macquarie-Hastings region on NSW's North Coast this week with his Tamworth teammates from NSW's north west for the the state's over-70 state cricket titles.

He first picked up a bat and ball as a way of passing the time in the aftermath of the second World War and wouldn't have anticipated that seven decades later he would be donning the whites at state level.

"I think I might be the oldest player in Australia; I don't think anyone else would go out there and still do what I do and love it as much as what I do," he said.

"But I'm 91 ... I think I might have another couple of years left in me yet."

Before cricket came along, Mr Crowell admitted he "hated" lawn bowls, had never played hockey and golf had always been too expensive.

"There was no activity around in the district when I was on the farm growing up," he said.

"So me and a few mates decided we should start a cricket team ourselves ... so that's what we did.

"We got a few of the old fellas to show us how to play, then we ended up with a team and I've never missed a season since."

He admitted "this veterans stuff" is even better than the games he played as a youngster.

"They're more respectful when it comes to the aged and the crippled," he said.

He remained non-committal about achieving the feat of still being able to play when he reached triple figures.

"I never scored a hundred because that was never my ambition, but I got 97 once," he said.

"Now I'm nine short of 100, but surely the body won't stand up to it ... I don't think anybody will be looking for a player by that stage."

Mr Crowell said the laid-back nature of veterans cricket was one of the key reasons why it had become one of the world's fastest-growing sports.

"It's such a leisurely sport and there's not the commitment to win," he said.

"We all like to win of course, but when it's finished if you lost you came second. You've still got a place. Winning is not everything."

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