I have been dreading writing this tribute to Harry Evans after he announced his retirement last Saturday from playing with the Gordon District Cricket Club. Dreading it really only because I could no longer sit at Chatswood Oval and watch one of the best batsmen to ever play on our sacred ground.
Thatï¿½s is a big statementï¿½Macartney, Trumper, Harvey, Barnesï¿½should I go on?
I didnï¿½t have the fortune of watching these famous Australian and Gordon cricketers, however I canï¿½t imagine how they looked better than a Harry straight drive, a smashing pull shot or a late cut through gully?
Harryï¿½s batting was pure class and the spectators at all the first-grade grounds around Sydney and Hobart will now have to find an alternative to watch.
Harry joined the Gordon Cricket Academy as a 14-year-old in the 2004/05 season and played in our Green Shield side scoring 144 runs with a high score of 64. The next season Harry captained the team which made the final and scored 358 runs @39.78 as well as excelling as a keeper.
After the Green Shield, Harry played four games in our Premiership winning Colts team at the end of the 2005/06 season including scoring 56 in the final against Penrith.
Restricted with school commitments Harry played only three grade games and three Poidevin Gray Shield matches in the 2006/07 season and scored 62 in fourth grade in his first-grade match on September 23, 2006.
Harryï¿½s then played three seasons mainly in seconds which included his debut first grade game on 29th November 2008 as a replacement for Beau Casson who was on NSW duty. He scored 27. While he played a further 4 games in first grade in 2008/09 and 2009/10 he didnï¿½t establish himself until the last game of the 2009/10 season when he scored 93 off 78 balls in an excellent one day victory against Sydney University at Uni No. 1. Needless to say, Harryï¿½s 2nd grade career at Gordon was over.
It is interesting to note the first grade runs Harry scored each season after then. He started in the 10/11 season with 472 runs and then followed with seasons of 664, 715, 834 and 866. Surely the Craig Simmons season record of 958 (subsequently overtaken by Axel Cahlin) would be reached by Harry. Just when it was within his reach, he left for greener pastures in Hobart to see if he could break into shield cricket via the Apple Isle.
Needless to say, he scored 1,176 runs in the 2016-17 season for Kingborough District Cricket Club. But I guess that doesnï¿½t count for the Gordon records. That season also included five centuries.
It has been said that a NSW selector had commented that Harry not being selected for NSW prior to him leaving for Hobart, was due to the fact that all of his 9 centuries for Gordon were scored at Chatswood Oval. I wonder if the first-grade grounds in Hobart are the same as Chatswood. I guess they must beï¿½I also assume his several 90ï¿½s and 80ï¿½s scored at places like Sydney Uni No. 1, Glenn McGrath Oval and Waverley Oval donï¿½t count.
With Harryï¿½s also not being picked for Tasmania meant that Gordon would be the beneficiary again of having Harry in our ranks for the last two seasons. This has included 3 more centuriesï¿½ all at Chatswoodï¿½ to make it now 12.
So, for the record Harry statistics for Gordon are as follows:
- 8,462 runs including Grade, Green Shield, Poidevin Gray and Colts
- 6,220 runs in grade @39.87
- 4,696 runs in first grade @ 41.44. (Third highest in First Grade for batsman with over 3000 runs)
- 82 first grade wickets @22.63
- 12 centuries with 170 highest vs Easts
- 4 x partnerships over 200 with Steve Colley (284), Elliot Richtor (239), Reece Bombas (213) and Damon Livermore (206)
- 113 wicket keeping catches and 21 stumpings
There is a lot more I could say about Harry, but I thought it best that the people that captained him, played with him and supported him would be the best to do that.
In no particular order, the following are short summaries of impressions of Harry from those people.
Matt Nicholson (Harryï¿½s initial First Grade captain)
Harry will leave a legacy at Gordon that goes far beyond his outstanding cricketing achievements. His batting in particular has been consistent and decisive. Surely at some stage he deserved a crack at higher honours. Also handy with the gloves and the ball, Harry typified his all-round skill with brilliance in the field.
However, it is as a clubman and person that Harry will be remembered so fondly. A gentleman who played the game with great skill and in the right spirit. A fine example for the young players to emulate, he leaves the playing ranks at Gordon with the cap in good stead.
I congratulate Harry on a great career and look forward to seeing him around the club at some stage in the future.
Cam Eccles (batting partner)
Harry has always showed his class whilst wearing the stag emblem be it dominating opposition bowling attacks, organising the troops or on occasion picking up wickets. More importantly he is a genuine bloke always up for a laugh and a beer after the game. We all play this game to hang out with your mates and Harry is a big reason why we keep playing.
Geoff Hickman (President)
Harry came to Gordon as a 14-year-old to play Green Shield, and it was the start of a 15 year association with the club. He was originally a member of our Gordon Academy, and is the epitome of what a grade club would like from all their players, a local junior that worked his way from Green Shield into our Colts team, onto and up the grades becoming a high quality 1st grade and representative player, and contributing significantly to the success of our club over that time.
What is most impressive about Harry is the way he has achieved this, always unassuming, polite and playing the game in the true spirit. I think it is fair to say he loves playing for Gordon and we love having him as not only one of our high-quality players, but more importantly a high-quality person.
We wish Harry all the best wishes for his overseas sojourn and maybe he will be back to, again be a treasured member of our club.
Ed Howitt (Coach)
I first came across Harry Evans when I was asked to select the Gordon Junior Cricketer of the Year. I was provided a short list of names across all age groups together with their stats and from the list provide a recommendation to who I felt deserved the award. It was pretty simple. A young kid call Harry Evans scored a heap of runs at a ridiculously high average, took plenty of wickets at a ridiculously low average and also managed to hit double figures for catches and stumpings as a keeper.
I was never fortunate enough to have played a game of cricket with Harry, and neither he with me, but I was lucky enough to be the PGï¿½s coach at a time when Harry was captain. He was a superb leader and tactically I donï¿½t recall seeing many better. He undertook this role whilst still maintaining an exceptional high level of skill behind the stumps.
A side note to his great on field performances would be his uncanny knack of being late to games and who can ever forget the night he was assisted home by an unnamed Gordon legend to the wrong house in a slightly worse for wear state.
His statistics for the club speak for themselves and he will go down as one of Gordons greats. Not too many can say they performed a significant role as batsmen, bowler and keeper in 1st grade at various stages of a career.
James Packman (First grade captain and batting partner)
It was safe to say Harry was never first to the ground, he would prefer to make his presence felt on the pitch. He wanted to be in the game all the time, always looking to make something happen whether that is as captain and making the decisions, with ball in hand or wielding the willow. Harry was a batsman you came to depend on in the middle order, he would often steer the side out of trouble and then more often than not he went on with his innings. He was one of those players you wanted to watch, rarely got tied down and made his batting partnerï¿½s job easier.
For a wicket keeper, his bowling was pretty handy, he certainly pushed the boundaries with his technique but the golden arm always seemed to find a way to break a partnership.
For such a talented player it was unfortunate he didnï¿½t get a game at shield level, when he was at his best he would have held his own against some of the stateï¿½s best!
A great team player, great to be around in the change rooms and always stuck around for a beer with his teammates and the opposition. No doubt we will continue to enjoy the good times down Old Chatswood Way and reminisce about the old days. Well done on a great career!
Mike, Iain and Tom Beverley
Each of the Bevos – Iain, Tom & Mike have been fortunate in crossing paths with Harry, both on and off the field of cricket. What can you say about Harry, as a sentence or two just doesn’t cover it – WOW – he has been the ultimate measured cricketer in all disciplines of the game, be it leadership, bat, ball or behind the stumps. Harry’s stats speak for themselves. They are good, very good.
However, each of us have had the privilege and experience of being a part of a Harry majestic performance, when the scoreboard was just not capable of properly reflecting how difficult ‘things were out there’. That’s been the real test and Harry has truly been one of the respected best as a player, leader and representative of his Club and the game itself. The ‘fields of cricket’ are no different to the ‘fields of industry’ and as Harry shifts his interests to the latter, we have no doubt Harry will excel both as an exciting player and respected leader. We wish him good health, happiness and success – howzat? M
Marshall Rosen (long time Gordon official)
My comments from outside the field are that Harry has been a cricketer who has understood the game of cricket and captaincy from a young age. He has proven to be an outstanding batsman and a decent wicketkeeper throughout his playing days at Gordon. Whilst in Sydney he has been a one club Gordon player even though I am sure that other clubs have taken an interest in him. We at Gordon have been appreciative of such loyalty and talent at the club and wish Harry the best in his future endeavours.
Tony Wilson (No. 1 supporter)
I initially came into contact with Harold when he and his great mate Hamish Angus played for our Gordon Green Shield team in the 2004-5 season. They both played for two seasons, with Harry captaining the side in the 2nd season. They also assisted skipper David Gray in winning the Colts Premiership in that season at Gordon.
As you can see from the above excellent history from Stevo, Harold played an integral part in Gordon cricket on the field for so many years and we must not forget how he moulded a wonderful Club culture off the field. It was always stressed to me by Marshall Rosen to never play favourites in selections and I did strictly abide by that, except of course when Harold was involved ï¿½ Yes I plead guilty.
Actually, it was not needed as his brilliant record made a selectors job very easy. He was crucified by State selectors in both NSW and Tasmania, where he scored 1176 runs @ 69av in his second season. He was also an integral part in the many Stuvos (Stuyvesant’s House) cricket dinners that hold so many memories with the ï¿½ultimateï¿½ stories – where my lips will naturally be sealed.
Thus Harold, many thanks for your efforts at Gordon and I know you will make a success of your career move to the UK. One thing Harold that I must stress is please never forget your many friends Down Under and remember your mate Hamish did rather unfairly nickname you ï¿½Oilyï¿½, which meant we do not wish to be thrown away like an Oily Rag with a use by date.
Good luck my friend ï¿½ Cheers Tiddles.
And so with that note from Tiddles, we thank Harry and his family for their support of the Gordon District Cricket Club.
Now I know Harry, after reading this you may think you can never return to the GDCC ranks. That is not true, if you do return to our shores (maybe to play some golf), you are always welcome to don the Gordon colours at any time and add to that record.
On behalf of all GDCC players and supporters