World Cup

Reminiscing about St. Kilda CC’s most famous son

Stephen Wain. Photo: Shreedutta Chidananda

Stephen Wain. Photo: Shreedutta Chidananda

In the October of 2016, the St. Kilda Cricket Club will turn 160. A ceremony has been planned at the town-hall next year. The mayor will be there, as will the actor Eric Bana (of Lone Survivor and Munich), who was born and raised nearby. They’re also hoping, though, that St. Kilda Cricket Club’s most famous son, will be there that evening.

“I saw him play very early games here,” recollects Stephen Wain, the long-serving Administration Manager of St. Kilda Cricket Club.

“I saw him play in third and fourth grade sides here and build his way through.”

Shane Warne started out as a batsman, Wain reveals. “He was just a young kid who came down as a batter. He was probably 16 or 17 then and he lived in Black Rock, a suburb down on the bay. Andrew Lynch, who was a former Premiership player here and is now a selector at Cricket Victoria, was the sports master at Mentone Grammar. He contacted us and said we’ve got this kid who fancies himself as a batsman.”

Warne made his Sheffield Shield debut at the Junction Oval in February 1991, finishing with match figures of one for 102. “He was a pretty handy batsman from memory,” says Wain, who has worked at St. Kilda for the last 33 years. “He wasn’t anything great, but he could play, could bat. He just worked on the development of his leg-spin and turned out to be one of the great ones.”

Wain chuckles when asked if Warne was tubby back then. “Yeah, he was. I hope he doesn’t mind me saying that. He was a bit of a cheeky bugger. He liked to have a laugh. He fitted in very well here from a young age.”

Warne was at the Oval two weeks ago, Wain recollects, showing a British film crew around his old club. “He drops in once in a while. I think he played probably 50 club games at senior (first grade) level. He wanted to play club cricket when he could but once he got picked up by Victoria and then Australia, it was very seldom that we got him back.

“He did play in a Victoria Premiership game here in 1991-92. He bowled 45 overs; he didn’t have great figures but we won the match. We even won the Premiership that year. That was the most important thing.”

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 3:41:58 pm |