Brown takes club games record
STALWART AHEAD OF ‘SUPERSTAR’
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.