Brown takes club games record

STAL­WART AHEAD OF ‘SU­PER­STAR’

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

THERE was no fairy tale for Hugh Brown’s record-break­ing day, with South Perth on the back foot against Rockingham-Man­durah at Lark Hill on Satur­day in Premier Cricket.

Brown be­came South Perth’s most capped Premier Cricket player last Satur­day, sur­pass­ing Ian Dick’s record of 234 games which had stood since 1965.

De­spite the record-break­ing game, Brown was dis­missed lbw for 4 to Leon Coombs af­ter he won the toss and elected to bat.

Brown has amassed 8200 runs over his 15 years of grade cricket in one of the most sto­ried ca­reers in re­cent mem­ory, with the open­ing bats­man scor­ing 11 cen­turies since his de­but in 2001.

The South Perth stal­wart said he felt priv­i­leged to sur­pass the mag­i­cal mile­stone but slightly un­com­fort­able to be held in the same cal­i­bre as club leg­end Dick.

“I feel hon­oured but a bit em­bar­rassed. The guy I am tak­ing over from, Ian Dick, was a su­per­star,” Brown said.

“His record was im­pec­ca­ble, so I feel pretty em­bar­rassed I am break­ing a record such as his, con­sid­er­ing he was so amaz­ing for the club.”

South Perth was Brown’s home from the very be­gin­ning. Hail­ing from Ger­ald­ton, the then 16-year-old grad­u­ated and moved straight away, find­ing his way to the Sky Blues.

“It has been my home since I was 16, pretty much my fam­ily to be hon­est,” he said.

“I have had my 18th and 21st here; I have had wed­ding re­cep­tions and cer­e­monies there too.

“It is not just cricket. All my close friends are from South Perth and I live in the area too. It has sort of been my life­style for a long time.”

The Sky Blues cap­tain, who has scored 43 half-cen­turies for his beloved side, de­scribes the pre­mier­ships he won with the club as his great­est mem­ory, as well as the two-day grand fi­nal losses a num­ber of years ago.

“Win­ning back-to-back one-day flags was pretty spe­cial,” he said.

“All of our club cham­pi­onships have been a real stand­out for me as well, but play­ing in that four­day fi­nal re­ally stands out in my mind.

“Play­ing with the likes of Chris Rogers when I was 20 was pretty amaz­ing, even though we didn’t win it.”

Brown has not had many low­lights in his in­cred­i­ble ca­reer, es­cap­ing se­ri­ous in­jury through­out his en­tire time in Premier Cricket; how­ever last week was a mo­ment that stood out as dif­fi­cult for the vet­eran.

“The low­light for me hap­pened last week­end when our club­house got burnt down. That was pretty sad,” he said.

“I think there is a sil­ver lin­ing: get a new club­house all re­vamped and ready for next year.”

The right-han­der cred­ited two men as his ma­jor men­tors through­out the early part of his ca­reer, for­mer Aus­tralian Test opener Chris Rogers again at the fore­front, with whom he shared a record 234-run stand in 2006.

“My first proper coach Rod Red­man re­ally stuck by me when I was 18 or so and wasn’t scor­ing many runs, he just kept per­sist­ing with me and be­lieved in me,” Brown said.

“Some­one like Chris Rogers, open­ing the bat­ting with him and learn­ing from him, he has been a great help and a great friend.

“I have learned heaps from him just pro­fes­sion­ally.”

While Brown is com­ing to the end of his ca­reer, he be­lieved he had a num­ber of good years left and plans to leave the club in a good state when he leaves. SOUTH Perth were re­duced to 2-14 when Hugh Brown was dis­missed and their day didn’t im­prove much against Rockingham-Man­durah. They were bowled out for 205, with the Mariners 1-46 in re­ply. Young South Perth star Brooke Guest stole the show, scor­ing 80 from 154 balls, in­clud­ing five bound­aries. Alex Bevilaqua took an early wicket for the Sky Blues to of­fer hope, but Mitch Green (26*) and Dane Ugle (14*) stead­ied for the league-lead­ing Mariners. Else­where, premier­ship hope­fuls Perth are un­der the pump against Fre­man­tle af­ter the first day at Stevens Re­serve on Satur­day.

The Demons will be chas­ing Fre­man­tle’s 327 next Satur­day, af­ter handy knocks from Christo­pher Wood (56) and Joel Cross­well (51*). It might have been a dif­fer­ent story, with Perth’s quicks re­duc­ing Freo to 3-33 early on, but the Port Boys’ bat­ting line-up pro­vided even con­tri­bu­tions to build a big score. Ryan Duffield was the best of the Perth bowlers with 3-27.

Hugh Brown has bro­ken club leg­end Ian Dick’s run.

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