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Our History

Discover the history of the Oakleigh Cricket Club.

Oakleigh Cricket Club: 1879 - 2009

Foundation meeting was held in the winter of 1879 at the English, Scottish & Australian Chartered Bank, Broadway, Oakleigh. Bank Manager David Wright Nicoll appointed inaugural secretary. 

The following players were selected to the very first Oakleigh team in 1879. A. Bowman, Dave Dunlop, H. Lang, H.J. Looker (Capt.), H.H. Newton, H. Newton, G. Newton, David Nicoll, Jack Roscoe, Joe Slater, H.W. Thomson, C. Tyers.

D.W. Nicoll, together with John Keyes MP, secured the present senior playing ground for posterity. In 1883 a letter showed the cricket club in occupation – together with “The Ladies Tennis Club” (also that the club had expended 130 pounds on improvement – remember that the village population was only 700!). By 1892 the population had increased to 1,236 and was virtually unaltered by 1901. The earliest known competition was the “Knox-Kelly Competition” of early metropolitan Melbourne fame. Then followed entry to Caulfield-Moorabbin (1909), Brighton District (1917), re-entry to Caulfield-Moorabbin (1921), which was subsequently renamed Caulfield District in 1926.


The First and Second XI joined the Victorian Junior Cricket Association (VJCA) in 1930, a turf association. In 1924, an unsuccessful attempt was made to join the VSDCA, for which the first turf wickets were laid. Oakleigh District Cricket Association (ODCA) was formed in 1926/27, but for several seasons the matting teams of the club played in the Caulfield District Association.

Earlier presidents included A.G. Harston (a wonderfully public spirited townsman) from the 1890’s until the late 1920’s; William Stewart (his son in law and Grand Secretary of Freemasonry in Victoria) and F.E. (Ern) Bunny whose presidency spanned 25 years until 1955.
W.A. (Wob) Scammell followed J.C. (Dad) Betts in the 1920’s as Secretary, with Ted Burroughs occupying that office from the mid 1930’s until entry into the VSDCA in 1949-50.

Specific records on the field are not known until 1927 when a club ‘Record Book’ was established. However, we know that the first recorded century was compiled by Baker Lee (adjudged “dux of the club”) in 1896-97. By coincidence, Leigh Baker scored the Club’s first sub-district hundred in 1949-50 (106 n.o.). In this season, the late Gordon (Mick) Raymant was selected in a sub-district representative team.

POST-WAR 1945:
Entry of First and Second XI’s to the VSDCA occurred in 1949-50. The minor XI’s remaining for several years in the Oakleigh District Association. In 1954, an attached team “Thirty-fivers” was formed and became a force in matting cricket in the ODCA. Also in 1954, an underage competition began in the ODCA with Oakleigh enjoying numerous successes. The local association has been, and remains, a splendid proving ground for talented youths “on the way up”.


R.G. Peace held presidential office from 1955 to 1960 followed by E. Dowler in 1960-61.


Mr. C.V. Holten succeeded Mr. P.T.L. (Peter) Newton as President whose term of office spanned the years 1961-75. Peter also achieved VCA status as sub-district delegate. Stan (Sam) Blackburn presided over the turbulent years from 1983-84 to 1986-87 after amalgamation talks had taken place with local club Clayton.


Post-war secretaries giving distinguished service included W.H. Robinson, L.S. Dickson, R.C. Williams, R.G.A. Campbell, R.J. Starkey and Bill Knott.

A women’s and girls’ team was formed in the 1978-79 season in conjunction with Huntingdale High School, under the expert tutelage of Val Holten. These teams continued in a variety of competition levels and numbers until the single remaining ladies team seceded in 1995.

David Nicoll – who once viewed the ladies playing some 40 years ago and was enthralled – would have given his pioneer’s seal of approval!

Oakleigh had enjoyed a lot of success through the junior teams in the Oakleigh District Cricket Association but withdrew the final team in 1986.

The club has a long history as to where it hosted afternoon teas, after game refreshments and offered change rooms. It was not uncommon for the opposition to ask “where do we go this year?!” After humble beginnings in a wooden pavilion the club was then ‘based’ in the Wilkinson Pavilion for many years. A small ‘den’ under the grandstand (used by the Oakleigh Cricket and Football Clubs over the years) was a venue for afternoon teas and opposition change rooms for some time. Once the Quadara Rooms were built they were seen as the convivial place for refreshments, only the opposition deemed it too far to travel. The demise of the Oakleigh Football Club in the VFA (end of 1994 season) saw the Quadara Rooms as the home and administration block of the Oakleigh Chargers Football Club along with the Wilkinson Pavilion as their gymnasium. This relegated the Oakleigh Cricket Club to utilise the ‘junior’ rooms – a brick box of limited facilities.

Of mixed success over many trials saw the club endeavour to come to an arrangement with the Oakleigh Club adjacent to the grandstand overlooking the playing arena. Again the club went back to its junior rooms.

The 1997-98 season saw the completion of the Oakleigh Cricket Club’s new home. With the generosity of the Monash Council, Oakleigh JayCees, Clayton Rotaract and donors of the ‘Brick in the Wall’ fundraiser, the club now has very impressive quarters located within the historic grandstand. With kitchenette facilities and full width windows the rooms at the back of the grandstand give a magnificent view of the day’s play. With upgraded change rooms for the home club and the opposition beneath the rooms, an opposition club will never again have to ask “where to this year?”

Under the presidential decree of life member Peter Webb, Oakleigh recruited Andrew Wyver from Tasmania who led the First XI to the finals in his first season in charge. This was to start an unparalleled run of seven consecutive finals series for the First XI and six successive top 5 placing in the prestigious Club Championship Award.

Season 2002/03 saw Oakleigh welcome a talented and extremely high calibre group of players from Monash University following their disbanding in the off-season. This injection of enthusiasm coupled with a strong improvement in the young Oakleigh charges and the addition of former star Victorian batsman Graeme Vimpani in 2003/04 finally gave Oakleigh a competitive edge on the field to go with the spirit shown by administrators and supporters off the field.

Hard work led to success and the First, Second and Third XI’s enjoyed premiership glory over the following 6 seasons to firmly establish Oakleigh as one of the power clubs in the VSDCA.

Icons Ben Drew and Marcus Spencer led the Second XI to premierships in an unprecedented run of consecutive victories and life member Craig Johnson won the W. Price Medal – Craig and Brendan Pauwels were members of four successive premiership teams, unheard of in the club’s dark days.

Graeme Vimpani brought a work ethic and culture of success to the club which has flourished since under the leadership of Spencer as Coach and more recently Jarrod Travaglia as Captain/Coach. Travaglia led the club to an outstanding victory in the 2008/09 season, a fitting conclusion to the careers of Matt Donnelly and Barry Ensil.

Oakleigh has always had a strong family aspect and recent examples are the Premiership winning brothers, Michael and Andrew Splatt, whose grandfather played in the first Oakleigh Sub District side, club legend Allan Stamps who holds the games played and wickets taken records and was deservedly rewarded with a long awaited first premiership medallion in 2008/09 has also introduced his son Matt to the senior club and he has similarly excelled in all grades. Another story about to play out if the grandson of long time President, Peter Newton who will turn out in the purple and gold for the Under 11’s next year, following on a long line of family history dating back to the first OCC side in 1879.

Another strong contributor to the recent success enjoyed by OCC has been the re-introduction and invigoration of the junior club by another life member and 300 game player, Neil Croft. Growing rapidly from one Under 11 team in 2001/02, the junior club rounded off season 2008/09 with a second SDCCL Club Championship trophy and four premierships from 7 sides. Of particular pride to Neil and the rest of the OCC community is the 12 players who have now graduated from the junior sides through to selection on the First XI.

History of WA Scammell Reserve

The ground was bushland in the early 1950’s and the Oakleigh Cricket Club who had entered the VSDCA in 1949 was seeking an additional ground for the establishment of a second turf wicket so that all four senior teams of the Club could play turf cricket.
The foresight of the then Secretary of Oakleigh Cricket Club, Lionel Dickson, saw this area in Guest Road as a suitable site. The Oakleigh Athletic Club was also seeking to establish a suitable home ground.

The combined efforts of Lionel Dickson of the Oakleigh Cricket Club and Geoff Goldworthy of the Oakleigh Athletic Club, both local businessmen, were able to convince the Oakleigh City Council to clear the land with the purpose of developing it into a sporting ground.

In 1957 Lionel Dickson on behalf of the Oakleigh Cricket Club conducted a “Miss Oakleigh” Competition to raise funds to pay for the installation of the turf area. A number of other local Clubs sponsored girls in the competition which was won by Desleigh Ward representing the Oakleigh Junior Swimming Club.
The turf wicket areas, centre wicket and practice wicket were duly laid and the Club played all their second eleven matches and trained there for two season (1959/60 & 1960/61) while the Oakleigh main ground was being resurfaced. The Club’s first eleven had to play all their matches away for those two years.

At considerable cost to the Oakleigh Cricket Club 3 phase power was connected to the ground for the electric roller to be used for the preparation of the wickets. Power had to brought from North Road along Guest Road and across to a central area along the southern boundary of the ground. This included the cost of supplying and erecting two poles. The electric roller was constructed by Fred White, a Life Member of the Club, at the cost of the Oakleigh Cricket Club. The Athletic Club commenced using the ground in 1957 for Little Athletics and continued using the ground for some years until Davies Reserve was developed specifically for the Athletic Club.

Around that time an old house in Broadway (Dandenong Road) was being demolished to make way for industrial development and the Athletic Club were able to have that building transferred to the Guest Road Reserve (as it was then known) for use as their dressing rooms. It was erected near the south west corner of the reserve. The Oakleigh Cricket Club obtained the tin garage that belonged to the house and they used that for their dressing room. This was erected near the Athletic Club house. The Athletic Club and the Cricket Club had power connected to those buildings at their cost. Power having to be brought in from North Road and three poles were erected.

In 1960 the Oakleigh Cricket Club entered their 3rd their games away as the Guest Road ground was being used by the 2nd the 4th eleven also in the MCL and the 3rd. For a number of years the Oakleigh Cricket Club did the bulk of the wicket preparation and a roster system of players was adopted for the final preparation and wicket marking on Saturday mornings. The water supply was sufficient to run seven sprinklers at a time and members of the club used to use them on evenings whenever possible and Rowland Williams spent every Sunday from daylight to dark for some four or five years connecting and shifting sprinklers to ensure that as much of the ground as possible received some watering. The sprinklers and hoses were supplied by the Cricket Club and stored in the tin shed. As they took up considerable space they had to be taken out each match day and put back before leaving the ground.

When Oakleigh Council formed Committees of Management for all the council reserves, Rowland Williams of the Oakleigh Cricket Club was the first Treasurer of the W.A. Scammell Reserve Committee of Management and held this position for many years. Other Oakleigh CC life members to be involved on committees at Scammell have been John Doig in the late eighties and early nineties and Allan Stamps for more than fifteen years to the present time.

In Oakleigh Cricket Club’s centenary season the Guest Road Reserve on 25th renamed the W.A. Scammell Reserve at the request of Oakleigh Cricket Club in recognition of William Alfred (Wob) Scammell, a long serving member and Life Member of the Oakleigh Cricket Club and the Oakleigh District Cricket Assoc. The Oakleigh Cricket Club Ladies teams used the ground on Sundays for some years until 1996. For the last four seasons (2008/09 - 2011/12) Oakleigh’s Under 15 Sunday team played their home games there.

Oakleigh CC has enjoyed continuous use of the ground for over 50 years. The Monash Council Horticultural Services now curates the ground and the wicket provides an even contest to both batsman and bowlers.

WA Scammell Reserve is a wonderful place to play cricket and it has been the breeding ground for many fine cricketers that have played at Oakleigh Cricket Club. It is a very important piece of the clubs evolving history.

Playing Performances

Three successive First XI premierships from 1918-21. (Sydney Davidson compiled 219 n.o. vs. Ormond in 1919-20. Still a Club record. Charles Burton was Captain and his two star bowlers, Frank Bindley and Jack West are still revered as local immortals).

Both matting XI’s won premierships in 1933-34. Matting team won in 1946-47. since formation of under-age in 1954 space precludes many winning performances.

1st XI premiers 1932-33, 1934-35, & 1939-40. 2nd XI Premiers 1936-37 & 1938-39.
(Rejoined VJCA in 1967-68) 3rd XI Premiers 1967-68 & 1976-77.

First XI Premiers 1963-64; Second XI Premiers 1963-64
First XI Shared Premiers 1968-69
First XI Premiers 2004/05
First XI Premiers 2008/09
Second XI Premiers 2003/04
Second XI Premiers 2005/06
Second XI Premiers 2006/07
Third XI Premiers 2008/09
Club Champions 2003/04; 2004/05 (239 points – then record)

Individual Performances

Caulfield District Cricket Association

1927-28* – S. Davidson, Batting Average 27.5 H.S. 129 n.o. (Same player from the hat trick of premierships nearly ten years earlier).
1927-28* – J. West 56 wickets at 6.95. (Still performing at a high level)
1927-28* - F. Martin, wicket keeper, selected in representative VJCU team.

1930-31 – F. Bindley with 37 First XI wickets at 7.9. Much like Davidson and West still a power in cricket at OCC.
1932-33 – First XI dismissed Carnegie for just 9 runs. A. Andrew taking 7 wickets for only four runs. F. Martin compiling 538 runs for the season, the highest individual aggregate in the VJCA.
A.L. Roberts captained Victorian juniors in Adelaide. (In ODCA J. Bailey captured five wickets in 5 balls).
1935-36 – W. Roberts highest VJCA aggregate in 1st XI (618)
1935-36 – A. Kyle highest VJCA aggregate in 2nd XI (554)
1938-39 – F. Thompson highest VJCA aggregate in 2nd XI (record total) 710
1939-40 – R. Bindley (Son of Frank) Won bowling VJCA in 1st XI
1941-42 – A. Raymant with average of 54.66 won VJCA 1st XI batting award
1941-42 – R. Bell with an average of 61.00 won VJCA 2nd XI batting award

N. Bray (115) & F. Hale (126) record second wicket for Second XI  
G. Bray (104) & J. Anderson (132) record first wicket for Second XI   
C.V. Holten won VSDCA batting average in 1961-62, 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66 (with record aggregate of 903) and 1966-67.
S. Blackburn won R.M. Hatch Trophy in 1962 and 1965. In 1961-62 secured 61 wickets (Second XI). In 1964-65 secured 54 wickets. In 1964-65 scored 503 runs (at an average of 45.73). In 1969-70 scored 590 runs at 45.4.
R.J. Tully scored successive centuries (104, 101) in 1967-68. He also won the VSDCA bowling in 1969-70.
A. Sampson secured match figures of 17 for 32 (including a hat trick) in 1963-64 – a VSDCA Second XI record.
C.V. Holten 167 not out in group final vs. Coburg 1964-65.
E. Seccombe 164 not out in group final vs. Brunswick 1968-69.
In 1963-64 the club won five out of six premierships. L. Kline 54 wickets, J. Jury 52 wickets
In 1964-65 L. Kline 71 wickets, S. Blackburn (Second XI 54)
First XI Runners-Up 1984-85 and 1985-86.
Ron Howland 51 wickets in 1984-85, 60 wickets in 1985-86, 57 wickets in 1986-87
Second XI Runners-Up 1996-97
Craig Johnson – W. Price Medalist (2005/06)
Chris Anderson – 175 vs. Ormond 2003/04 (First XI record score)
Graeme Vimpani – 3 centuries in First XI season 2005/06
Hamish Morrison – 101 vs. Box Hill (Group Final) 2004/05
Barry Ensil 102 vs. Box Hill (Semi Final) 2007/08
Jarrod Travaglia – Team of the Year 2006/07
Jarrod Travaglia – Captain of VSDCA representative team 2007/08
Julian Hay 121 vs. Caulfield (Group Final) 2008/09

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