Laidley linchpin reaches 200
Sippel nearly gave the game away
CRICKET: Laidley linchpin Mick Sippel was late to his 200th milestone game due to work.
However, he was happy to reflect on his remarkable achievement after watching his brother Gerard guide Laidley to victory, securing the Bluedogs a spot in next month’s Harding-madsen Shield semi-finals.
“I’m definitely proud,” said Sippel, who turned 43 on Thursday.
“A lot of the guys drove from Ipswich to come up to Toowoomba last night. That’s what our club has always been built on; not necessarily individual milestones but if someone has their milestone, everyone comes in and celebrates.
“You feel pretty special (to play 200 games in the Ipswich and West Moreton competition).
“I didn’t go out to achieve that. If you play long enough, these things happen.”
However, Sippel nearly did not become one of Laidley and the Ipswich competition’s leading all-rounders.
After 10 years driving regularly from Gatton to Brisbane to play for Souths, Sippel almost gave the game away.
“I was sick of the travel and all the rest of it,” he said, also working at Stanthorpe at the time.
“Basically, I pulled the pin down there (Souths) and I didn’t think I’d play cricket again.”
Thankfully for Laidley and everyone who enjoys watching the stylish left-handed master blaster play, he chose to continue in the 2002/2003 season.
He has since displayed tremendous loyalty to Laidley, scoring more than 9300 runs at a healthy average of 54. That included 20 hundreds, 56 fifties and a highest score of 261 against Swifts in 2015.
Sippel rates another double ton among his favourites. He scored 220 for Laidley in the 2005 grand final, batting with Peter Wood for nearly a whole day to help his team beat Brothers.
Before joining Laidley, Sippel also made a half century playing for Queensland against a touring Pakistan side featuring Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram.
Although he does not bowl much any more, Sippel also has terrific career figures in the IWMCA competition. He has taken 466 wickets at an average of 14.46, including 20 five wicket-inning hauls and a best of 9/28 against Eastern Raiders in 2006.
Sippel said that was hugely enjoyable especially after Laidley did not post a big score and quality duo Brian May and Andrew Walsh had the Raiders well on the way to victory at stumps on the first day.
However, when play resumed the next week, Sippel destroyed Raiders with his swing and seam bowling, securing a stunning victory for Laidley.
Sippel took charge with the ball when joining Laidley only after not being considered a bowler with Souths who had players such as international Andy Bichel.
“Part of me wished I would have developed it a lot earlier when I was playing in Brisbane,” Sippel said.
“I think I would have played a lot more higher level of cricket if I would have bowled as well as I did later on.”
On Saturday, Laidley cruised to 2/137 off 25 overs, after dismissing Southern Districts for 136 in 37 overs.
Sippel scored 17 batting at number three.
He was pleased to see his brother finish with 68 not out, including 13 fours and a six.
Such family and club spirit is why Sippel has enjoyed his time at Laidley.
“I’m honoured,” the life member said. “I’ve given a bit back to the club but geez it’s come back to me 10-fold.
“I wouldn’t be anything without this cricket club. All my friends, all our wives, partners, our kids all growing up together... it’s amazing to be part of a good cricket club.”
Sippel said playing for Laidley provided immense satisfaction.
“The town looks out for its cricket team and wants to know how we go all the time,” he said.
I’ve given a bit back to the club but geez it’s come back to me 10-fold
— Mick Sippel
STALWART: Mick Sippel clocked up 200 games for Laidley on the weekend.