Millicent cricketer flashback

Former Millicent Footballers Cricket Club all-rounder Ian Ferguson may have become the oldest cricketer ever to make his Adelaide Oval debut in 2014.

Of the thousands of cricketers who have stepped on to the hallowed turf since 1871, it is unlikely that any have played their first game there at the age of 49.

Playing in your fifth decade is not unusual for cricketers at Adelaide Oval and Bobby Simpson captained Australia to win over India and made a century on this ground in 1978 as he was nearing 42.

Nowadays a resident of Adelaide, the spin bowler and lower-order batsman was no stranger to elite level competition.

He reached league football level with West Adelaide in the SANFL, won the Athletics Cup at Adelaide’s prestigious Collegiate School of Saint Peter and made a century on a turf wicket in London, England on a schoolboys’ tour 40 years ago.

After playing underage and some senior football with Mount Burr, Ferguson spent much of his football career with the Millicent Saints.

It was interrupted by one season with Hatherleigh where he played A Grade and was non-playing coach of the Eagles Reserves.

His Adelaide Oval debut as a cricket all-rounder came in the grand final of a state-wide Twenty20 Champions Cup knockout competition.

With John Facey at the helm, Millicent Footballers won their four qualifying games in good fashion and then took on the Freeling Cricket Club for the ultimate prize on the hallowed turf.

There was to be no fairy-tale conclusion for the 49-year-old debutante as Freeling took the country club division prize.

The local team members had put themselves under pressure and only posted 9/84 in their 20 overs.

The Freeling Cricket Club then cruised to victory as its batsmen achieved 2/86 off nine overs.

This club then met suburban outfit Hope Valley in the grand final of the Twenty20 Champions Cup.

With former Furner/Beachport cricketer Ben Parish lending a hand, Freeling scraped through to a narrow victory.

After the Twenty20 Champions Cup was decided, Adelaide Oval hosted a number of comparatively low-key events in the following weeks including the Rolling Stones concert and the Port Power/Adelaide Crows AFL match.

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