On Saturday last in the match against North Sydney, Tym Crawford scored 66 runs in the disappointing loss where we scored 408 runs and somehow still lost by 8 runs.
Why this score was significant was that it put Tym on 5,003 runs in grade for Gordon and 4,726 of these in first grade with the balance in second grade. His 56 in the T20 match on Sunday puts him now at 5,059 runs.
In 2003, Mark Carmichael and I were asked by the North Shore representative team management to act as selectors for their Under 11 Creak Shield Squad. Rather than Mark and I conferring over each player, we decided to break up and watch from different ends of the practice area. The plan was to rate each player on a 3/2/1 basis and we would compare at the end of the session.
As we met up again to select the team, I said there was one player I had to give a 4 rating and Mark said he had done the same. The player of course was Tym Crawford and all I can say is that Mark and I must be good judges. The team went on to win the Creak Shield that season.
It wasn’t until the start of the 2013/14 season that our paths crossed again when Tym was selected in second grade for Gordon at the start of the season. Tym had spent 3 years while at the Shore School playing a handful of games for North Sydney in the lower grades. He then played 10 first-grade games for Lindfield in the 2012/13 Shires competition with his brother Peter scoring centuries both in First Grade and the Frank Gray Shield.
After playing five games in seconds including a century against St. George, Tym was promoted to First Grade and was presented his cap by Mark O’Neill who became a great source of knowledge for him on the technical side of batting which Tym acknowledges helped him significantly in his own coaching approach.
In that same season, Tym scored his debut first-grade century scoring 102 against Wests. It was in this match that Tym had a long partnership with James Packman who was playing his last match for Gordon before retiring. With Harry Evans, Steve Colley, Elliot Richtor and Reece Bombas making up the balance of the top 6 batters with Tym and himself, Packers was comfortable he was leaving the team in good hands.
James had the following to say when asked to contribute to the story:
Firstly congrats on making 5000+ runs for Gordon, great achievement and welcome to the club!!
My observations of a young Tym Crawford were that he was a batting all-rounder, if not for injury there would be more wickets to his name. Batting though he was tenacious and solid.
Not a big mover of the feet early, however he certainly put a high price on his wicket. In my last 1st grade game we batted for some time and I remember early on an experienced left arm fast bowler for Wests was giving him plenty as it was tough going early. Tym took it in his stride and got through the tough period and ended up scoring a match-winning century to guide the team home.
There were a number of other great knocks no doubt.
Tym continued his good form in the 2014/15 season scoring 676 runs but with a top score of only 74 against Blacktown. While “only” scoring 523 in the next season it included an excellent knock of 128 at Chatswood against Bankstown. He peppered the Chatswood fence that day with 17 fours and one six. One of his productive partnerships was with Cam Eccles who scored 93 and both helped to win the match by 200 runs against a strong Bankstown side.
Cam Eccles made the following comments on congratulating Tym on his 5000 runs:
‘Tym is such an explosive, exciting player able to turn a game on its head with either the bat or the ball. It was such a pleasure being up the other end (on the odd occasion I lasted that long) watching him dispatch ball after ball to the boundary. More importantly, he was a fantastic leader and a great man to spend time with off the field, a great motivator and a great conversationalist willing to listen and chime in with whatever nonsense topic our team had picked that afternoon. Massive congratulations Tym, well deserved’
While Tym didn’t score a century over the next three seasons his contributions of 485, 653 and 467 made him continue as a valuable member of the team.
The 2019/20 season was a big one for Tym with 750 runs including two centuries, the first one being a magnificent 169 against Penrith at Howell off just 165 balls. He followed this with a blistering 113 off just 72 balls in the final match of the season at Chatswood against Fairfield, which was unfortunately washed out after only 25 overs of Gordon’s innings. Gordon were 3 for 174 when the rain came.
Earlier in that same season, one of Gordon’s most accomplished batters Harry Evans decided to take up a position with his company KPMG in London and left our shores.
Harry had the following to say about Tym:
Tym has been a fantastic player for Gordon across the last decade, along with being one of our most committed clubmen. Tym has always been an absolute match-winner with the bat – invariably if he plays well his side wins – he hits the ball as hard as anyone I have played with & can take down any bowler when in full flight. Tym has worked really hard on his game and has developed into a multi-dimensional player in all formats since his first-grade debut. Unfortunate not to have been given an opportunity at a higher level yet, particularly in white ball cricket. Congratulations on reaching 5,000 runs but plenty more to come over the coming seasons.
The 2020/21 season was another good one for Tym with two centuries, the first one an amazing T20 innings of 101 off 52 balls (surely a Gordon record) where he hit 8 fours and 7 sixes at Waverley in a 3-run win against Easts. The second one was 107 off 83 balls in a one-day match against Mosman at Chatswood.
Tym’s good friend Ash Doolan who played for Gordon for two seasons in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons before returning to Mosman wrote the following about Tym’s achievement:
During my time at Gordon Cricket Club, I was lucky enough to play with some great players. Some went on to play test cricket, some played first class cricket and all dominated Sydney premier cricket at some stage in their careers. At the time we had a very strong batting line up that rarely failed. The top order was filled with experience and freakish talent. The likes of Axel Cahlin, Steve Colley, Cam Eccles, Harry Evans and Elliott Richter. Tym and I normally fought out the 6 and 7 batting positions. When we were called upon, it was usually late in the day to slap the ball out of the ground.
I remember one game in particular. It was against Sydney Cricket Club. The top order failed for the first time in the season. Tym and I found ourselves in the middle with half the team knocked over and not many runs on the board. What happed next was nothing short of unbelievable. Tym went on to score a career defining 80 odd, dispatching the Sydney attack to all parts of Drummoyne oval. We won the game and the rest is history. From that day on, Tym knew what he could achieve once he got in. I was lucky enough to have the best seat in the house that day. Short stride, high elbow, ball into stands.
Tym has the ability to take the game away from the opposition in a very short space of time. He instils belief into his team mates and has that win at all cost attitude. A great person to share the dressing room with. 5000 runs I have no doubt will be doubled by the time his time is done.
Unfortunately, a persistent knee injury kept Tym out of the 2021/22 season, but with some time off to recover, the 2022/23 season beckons for Tym to continue to show his prowess and while the weather has not assisted in the early games Tym’s 66 on Saturday and 56 in the T20 victory over Randwick Petersham on Sunday hopefully will see him lead the team by example as he has always done.
Elliot Richtor, one of Tym’s long-term playing partners before taking up the First Grade Coaching role summed up Tym’s career to date very well with the following words;
A hard hitting batsmen with a solid technique and has the ability to take games away from the opposition in a session.
Tym slotted into the first grade side vs Fairfield Liverpool in December 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. Over his years in first grade has shown his versatility by being able to bat anywhere between 1 and 7. Being such a clean striker and his ability to go over the top from the outset has meant he has opened in white ball cricket a fair bit. I would love to see him get an opportunity at the next level in white ball cricket, but hopefully, there is still time for this in the next few seasons.
The big difference in Tym’s game since coming into First grade is his ability to get big runs now. When he first came into the side, scored a lot of 50’s but in recent years has had the knack of going on and making big, match-winning scores, exemplified by his 169 vs Penrith and his few centuries during his last playing season. For anyone who witnessed his century during the T20 vs Easts at Waverley Oval, it was some of the cleanest striking and was an absolute pleasure to watch.
Tym also offers a lot in the field and with the ball (when fit). A fast bowler who can hit the bat hard and wobble the ball around makes him a handy asset with the ball (when he keeps that front foot behind the line). Like his batting, he is a versatile bowler and has been able to take the new ball, bowl middle overs or even death in white ball cricket, whilst has always been a reliable fielder a catcher who has moved from the outfield into the cordon in recent years.
Tym is a great clubman, helping shape the next generation of Stags and genuinely wants the best for the club and its players. His commitment in exemplified through his leadership roles since being at Gordon, being club captain before coming first grade captain a few years back. Despite his injury last season, Tym was still heavily involved with the club and first-grade side which is a testament to his commitment to the club. He is back this year hoping to make up for lost time and hoping to crack that 5k asap.
We look forward to seeing Tym continue his excellent career with Gordon and start to chase the first-grade tallies of some our more current “legends” with Harry Evans on 5,503 first-grade runs, Steve Colley on 5,968 and James Packman on 6,705.
One statistic that I am not sure any of these players will match is Tym’s pace of scoring. A quick calculation shows Tym’s 7 centuries to date have totaled 798 runs off 739 balls.
Congratulations on a great career so far and let’s look to reaching a few more milestones in the seasons ahead.