Today, 20 May 2022, is the 100th Birthday of Life Member and former President & Patron Alan Cramond. Alan was President of the Club from 1976 to 1988 and then Patron from 1988 to 2002. He was made a Life Member of the Club in 1985.
Alan has led a remarkable life. He played briefly in lower grades for Western Suburbs in 1940-41 & 1941-42 before he enlisted in the Australian Army on 29 December 1941. He was sent to New Guinea in July 1942 to fight the invading Japanese. He was wounded at Bougainville (east of Port Moresby) in early 1945. After recovering from his injuries, he saw out the war and was discharged from the Army on 1 February 1946.
He joined the Central Cumberland (now Parramatta) club for the 1946-47 season and played for them until 1968-69. He played as high as 2nd Grade, but mainly in 3rd Grade, which he captained between 1952-53 & 1968-69. In all grades, he took 612 wickets at an average of 18.13 and scored 4691 runs at 16.58 (highest score 94). He is still the Parramatta club’s most successful all-rounder in 3rds, with 425 wickets at 17.05 and 3197 runs at 18.27. In the early years of our club, he played 3 matches against us in 3rds, with his best match being in our first season (1965-66) when he scored 57 and took 4-64. He captained 3rd Grade to premierships in 1959-60 & 1964-65.
Alan has had a great relationship with the Benaud family from the time he joined Cumberland. He quickly became close friends with Lou Benaud and spent a lot of time with the Benaud family. In his first match for Cumberland in 1946-47, in 3rds, Alan shared a crucial 9th wicket partnership of 67 with a young 16-year-old leg-spinner that ensured victory. Alan made 32 while the youngster made 91. It was the last time Richie Benaud played 3rds! In the premiership team of 1959-60, Alan captained a 15-year-old John Benaud, who obviously also went on to bigger and better things! His friendship with Richie endured until Richie’s sad passing and he remains good friends with John.
Alan and his wife Jill moved to the Shire in the 1970s and operated a successful smallgoods distribution business for many years. In 1976, Ted Cotton and Jack Slattery prevailed on Alan to take over as President of SDCC, a role he held for 12 years as the Club’s fortunes were turned around and we headed into a golden era. He was instrumental in West Indian pace bowling star Andy Roberts coming to the Club in 1976-77.
Alan holds the rare distinction of being a Life Member of two Sydney grade cricket clubs, Parramatta and Sutherland. The only other person I am aware of who has achieved this was Ted Cotton, who was a Life Member of Paddington when he joined the new Sutherland club and was then made a Life Member of SDCC in 2000.
On behalf of everyone connected with Sutherland DCC, we wish a very happy birthday to you, Alan! After only making it as far as 94 during your long grade cricket career, it is fantastic to see you finally reach a century!!