Cricket stalwart beats club game record

December 8, 2023 BY

Devoted: Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club member Paul Aikman served as president of the team for a decade and now holds the club’s spot for the most matches played. Photo: TIM BOTTAMS

LONG-serving Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club player Paul Aikman made team history late last month during a match against Lucas.

Though the game proved a momentous win for the team, Aikman celebrated a more personal victory, overtaking member David Wallis’ club games record with his 362nd match.

He said the achievement is something he’s sure to appreciate more once he puts down the bat for good.

“It’s something I haven’t really thought about but it’s something I’m pretty proud to achieve and something I’ll reflect on probably more after I’ve finished playing,” he said.

“The club’s steeped in history. It’s well over 50 years old so this is something I’ll definitely grow to cherish. I’d say David held the record for 15, 20 years, and he’s a legend of the club.

“The game experience itself was really good because both our openers made hundreds. We were none for 215 off 45 overs in that one day against Lucas.

“A couple of the boys who’ve usually been in A Grade for the first 11 came back and played and made a point to the selectors and made a hundred each. We didn’t lose a wicket.

“I got a couple myself. We ended up bowling them out for 89.”

Aikman grew up playing cricket with his family and friends and following a period of junior tennis, picked up the sport again from 15 years old in Geelong.

After moving to Ballarat in his early 20s, Aikman briefly took up tennis once again before joining the Ballarat-Redan Cricket Club in 1994, where he’s been ever since.

Having earned his lifetime membership seven years ago, and with his own kids having come through the club, Aikman said it’s his family connection and relationships that have kept him playing.

“I rose up the ranks into A Grade cricket and when I dropped off, my boys were coming through,” he said.

“The youngest is now with Geelong in the premier league, the oldest is an opening bowl with the A Grade team and about to bowl out here.

“That’s kept me involved, but also all the young guys here, they keep you young at heart. I just enjoy it and I enjoy their company.

“To make it to 400 games would be alright but we’ll see how the body holds up.”