Pulling up stumps after 64 years: an ode to Cootamundra’s Eric Thorburn

END OF AN ERA: Cootamundra's Eric Thorburn has called time on a storied cricketing career. Picture: Cootamundra Herald
END OF AN ERA: Cootamundra's Eric Thorburn has called time on a storied cricketing career. Picture: Cootamundra Herald

Cootamundra’s cricketing stalwart Eric Thorburn has finally pulled up stumps.

A servant of the sport from 1953 right though to 2017, Eric has been involved in cricket as a player, treasurer, mower man, secretary, life member and patron.

Eric’s association with the summer sport began in 1953 when he took over as Treasurer of Wallendbeen Cricket Cluat the age of 15, a position he held until 1965 when he moved to Cootamundra.

During his time at Wallendbeen, he and others were responsible for putting down the mats at Wallendbeen Oval. The early days of mats were Kippax canvas ones and later years they moved upmarket to COIL matting.

Obviously after each match, the cricketers were responsible for taking up the mats and packing them away. During this time, Eric also used mow around the inside and outside of the  boundary fence. 

Eric said when he first took on the wicket preparation in 2009, that he had done the theory on the preparation of wickets in 1955 by correspondence through the Sydney Cricket Ground. Over 50 years later, he’s still on the practical side. 

Eric’s time as a curator spanned eight seasons 2009-10 to 2016-17. He commenced with Greg Rudd in 2009-10 and for past seven seasons with Pat Kerin. Eric also has a long association with cricket in Cootamundra – he was secretary 1967-68 to 1974-75 and treasurer 1975-76 to 1988-89, meaning he was on the executive of the CDCA for 21 consecutive seasons.

In 2011, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] for his service to cricket and the Cootamundra community.

Eric now passes the reigns to Dave Garness, who will take over as the Albert Park curator.

The Cootamundra cricketing community would like to acknowledge Eric’s outstanding contribution spanning 64 years.