Third-oldest club turns 150

MEMBERS of Parramatta District Cricket Club will celebrate 150 years.

Official records show Parramatta District, also known as Central Cumberland, played its first recorded game against Liverpool on September 11, 1843.

The impressive milestone makes Parramatta the third oldest cricket club in Australia and the oldest to be based continually in the one location.

Club secretary and historian Tom Wood said the club is an example of "living heritage" intertwined with the Parramatta community since its inception.

"The cricket club has watched Parramatta grow and Parramatta has watched the club grow," Wood said.

Parramatta has a proud tradition of producing representative players with three international, 12 Australian and 44 state cricketers all playing for the club during its 150-year history.

Among the most famous former Parramatta players is Channel Nine commentator and Australian leg spinner Ritchie Benaud.

"Ritchie played with Parramatta from the mid 1940s until 1967 and still attends club functions," Wood said.

"I remember taking my first wicket in first-grade cricket and Ritchie caught it at first slip."

Some of the other notable players who represented Parramatta include Doug Walters, Englishman Chris Cowdrey and Joseph Rutter — who was selected in the first match between NSW and Victoria in 1857.

"Our history is very fascinating and we've had a wide variety of players from influential politicians to publicans and famous poets even."

As an anniversary gift to the club Wood is writing a book tracing the club's history.

An exhibition Twenty20 match at Old Kings Oval is being organised to mark the club's 150th anniversary in October.

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