Ross ‘Rossy’ Arnold and David ‘Woody’ Woodward have been to every state in Australia playing Over 60 Veterans Cricket, and while victories have been few and far between, the pair have plenty of stories to tell.
As many as 32 teams meet in one state for four days of banter, yarn spinning and cricket – each day stiffer and sorer than the last.
“Waking up is never pretty,” said Woodward, “But it’s still good to be healthy and fit enough to play at my age.”
Between Woodward and Arnold the boys have over 15 years of Veterans Cricket experience behind them, but it’s not all sunshine and roses.
“We’ve won two games in 10 years,” Arnold laughed.
“But we would’ve won more if it wasn’t for a couple of bloody washouts!”
The pair have enough cricket anecdotes and stories to last a lifetime and you don’t have to chat with them long to hear some of them.
“I started playing cricket in 1965 for Montagu,” Arnold said.
“I still remember my last game, I was playing against Brittons Swamp. I made 103 with the bat and then picked up five wickets opening the bowling.”
He was more than happy to retire after that.
Woodward prefers to fixate on a more recent achievement. In a B Grade game against Marrawah, he picked up five consecutive wickets to claim a double hat trick and figures of 5/2.
He was subsequently awarded the match ball, now one of his most prized possessions, with his figures for the match written on it.
“The grandkids come over and look at the trophy cabinet,” Woodward said.
“I always ask, ‘Got one of these yet?’” he laughed.
The pair have been playing together for years, and always look forward to traveling interstate with their teammates for the carnival.
“It’s very competitive, but it’s a friendly competitive,” Woodward said.
Even above the age of 60 there are still plenty of talented players getting about, including former New Zealand International paceman Ewen Chatfield.
“I’ve never been a batsmen,” Woodward said.
“But I managed to put Chatfield for four first ball last year, I was proud of that!”
The highlight, however, was finally playing with his brother Bert who lives in Darwin, Northern Territory.
“[Playing] in the same team as my brother was very special,” Woodward said.
“We’ve never played cricket together, so it really meant a lot to me to be on the same field.”
Now, with both boys too old to play in the Over 60 division, the team will have a crack at winning the Over 70 Cricket Veterans title next year.
Ross Arnold and David Woodward have more cricket stories than wins in the white, green, yellow and red.