It is with great sadness, yet equal admiration, that we advise that former President and Patron Alan Cramond passed away last Sunday at the age of 100. Alan was a fine servant of the game of cricket and his contribution was long and distinguished.
Alan was President of the Club from 1976 to 1988 and then Patron from 1988 to 2002. He was also a delegate to the NSW Cricket Association from 1978 to 1984. He was made a Life Member of the Club in 1985 and was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000.
Alan 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 captained 3rd Grade to premierships in 1959-60 & 1964-65. He was also a long-standing Committee Member and selector for Central Cumberland and was made a Life Member of that club. Alan holds the rare distinction of being a Life Member of two Sydney grade cricket clubs.
Alan 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 remained good friends with John until the end.
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.
To Alan’s wife Jill and the rest of his family, we extend our sincere condolences on Alan’s passing. We have lost a fine man whose contribution to our Club and the game of cricket more generally was outstanding.