Early Cricket in Caloundra
There is evidence that shows there was a cricket club in existence in 1927. According to clippings taken from the Brisbane Courier, a cricket club was formed on July 29th 1927. The piece of ground referred to was Black Flat, now Tripconey.
It is known that a Caloundra Cricket team survived through the1930’s into the early forties by looking at these articles found in papers from the time.
It is not known whether club cricket continued throughout the duration of the war but as mentioned before, the original Caloundra playing field was situated on the grass flats where Tripcony Caravan Park is now. There was also another concrete wicket built on Battery Hill by the Army during the Second World War. There were a few games played here with a number of the local cricketers invited to join the Army team.
Caloundra Cricket Club was finally underway again in 1945, when Roy Henzell Senior, a well-known name in cricketing circles throughout Queensland, donated land. The land was thus called "Roy Henzell Oval" better known today as Henzell Park. A large scale development was undertaken and the ground was officially opened on Sunday, 26th September 1948 with a match against Toombul who brought a near Sheffield Shield team
Enthusiasm started to wane and it’s widely thought that Caloundra Cricket Club folded in 1953. An article from the Nambour Chronicle confirms that a cricket club existed during 1954-55 season.
There are indications that there was a Caloundra Cricket Club in 1959 but it is unknown if the club had teams competing at this time.
Current Version of the Club
It was not until 1963 that the Club started up again under President Alasdair Cowie and Secretary-Treasurer Peter Lenton. The club’s first premiership was won by the Reserve Grade team in 1965/66 but it was not until 1975/76 that the A Grade Premiership was won. The old clubhouse was demolished in 1971 and replaced with a concrete block building.
A to scale sketch of the concrete block clubhouse
In 1973 practise nets were installed. The practice complex was, according to the Club Captain at the time Mr Finn McColm, the first of its kind on the Sunshine Coast. The Landsborough Shire Council shared the cost of the complex, supplying labour and part of the cost of materials.
With renewed interest and growing number of Members in 1981, it was decided to extend the dressing rooms and build a store room for machinery and equipment.
On December 16th 1981, Caloundra Cricket Club hosted a match between the touring West Indies and Queensland Country XI. The game attracted much interest and several thousand spectators attended.
1981 West Indies touring side that played Queensland Country
The second oval named the “Jack Beausang Oval" was developed after the land was cleared and shaped. A turf wicket was laid on it in November 1985.
In June 1985 the Committee led by President John Askins decided it was time to expand the Clubhouse. With approval of a $40,000 loan from the A.N.Z. Bank and a $10,000 grant from Landsborough Shire Council it was decided to set about and have it ready for the 1985/86 Cricket Season. With donations from several business houses of building materials, the Building Committee of Club Members Mick Davis, Noel Stevens, John Matthews (Builder) Jim Brown (Plumber) Lex Hubner (Electrician) along with plenty of labourers the new Club House was completed in 12 weekends.
The completed clubhouse
Australian and South African player Kepler Wessels opens the clubhouse
On January 30th 1990 Caloundra hosted the touring Sri Lanka Versus Queensland Country game at Henzell Park.
In 1991 Sri Lanka International Dammika Ranatunga came to play and coach at Caloundra. He proved to be a very popular fellow and played a major role in helping the Club winning the A Grade Premiership in 1991/92 season. Grant and Norma Cornford played host to Dammika and his wife and children. They had nothing but praise for the little bloke.
Our first big 4 day game, England A vs Queensland on 19th to 22nd February 1993 was a disaster. The wet weather earlier in the week made the surrounds too soft although the wicket was dry and hard. The first 2 days were cancelled even though a big crowd turned up. Some good cricket was witnessed on the last 2 days.
England A played Queensland at Caloundra in 1993
The committee of the Caloundra Cricket Club decided that as poker machines would be easier than chook raffles they decided to apply for four licenses. These were granted and installed in September 1993.
1994 A new addition to our complex is the Damien Lowery Shelter built between both Ovals. It was built by Club stalwart Ken McLean and Wayne Currie in honour of the Club’s most promising cricketer who had recently passed away from a heart condition.
The Damien Lowrey Shelter
Also in 2003 the third oval was named Grant Cornford Oval in recognition of Grant‟s service to the club. Grant Cornford is a Life Member and a Foundation Member. Unfortunately this field is no longer used by our club. Rugby Union uses it all year round.
April, 2004 saw the Club‟s first overseas tour to Sri Lanka with an Under 20 team managed by John Stitt, coached by Lawrie Shaw and captained by Anthony Reid. The team performed adequately against very strong opposition.
2004 also saw the complete redevelopment of Roy Henzell oval. The oval was laser leveled, underground irrigation was installed, the oval sown and fenced with a picket fence and flood lighting for the playing of night cricket was installed. The lights were officially turned on by Mayor Don Aldous on 15th September, 2004. David Dunn and Michael Davis were the driving force behind this excellent development. A total of over $197,000 was spent.
The new oval saw its first game of night cricket between Victorian Institute of Sport and Queensland Country. This year also saw the introduction of the Caloundra RSL Scorchers Club Challenge Day-Night Competition. Scorchers played each of the clubs, culminating in a combined club game.
In the years 2005 to the present day the club has hosted Interstate teams from Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria in pre season trial games. Also Caloundra hosted the Australia Under 19 vs Pakistan Under 19 one day international series as well as the Emerging Players Tournament with Centre of Excellence, India, South Africa and New Zealand. Queensland Country also played their Gary Madsen Shield under lights against ACT.
In 2012 the Under 19 Pre-World cup rounds were held at Caloundra. From all reports a great time was had by all.
In 2013 the Poker machines were withdrawn from the club. As the profits fell it was decided to sell the licences to Nambour RSL so now we have no machines.
What’s next to come for the Caloundra Cricket Club? Contact Us to be a part of it.
*Excerpts, information and photos have been taken from "History of Cricket in Caloundra" published by Caloundra Cricket Club Anniversary Committee 2013