Cartwright set to claim Sunbury United games record

Kevin Cartwright has been a fixture of the Sunbury United Cricket Club since 1985. (Supplied)

Oliver Lees

Veteran all-rounder Kevin ‘Hoss’ Cartwright isn’t concerned with the fanfare as prepares for a record-breaking 450th cricket match this weekend.

Despite being the first player to reach that milestone in Sunbury United’s 48-year history, Cartwright said he would treat the contest just like any other.

“It’s just another game for me, although I know the club’s making a big deal about it,” he said.

“I just want to enjoy myself, that’s what cricket’s about for me these days.”

After starting out in Pascoe Vale, Cartwright moved to Sunbury with his wife around Christmas time in 1985.

He joined the Bees in the 1984-85 season and hasn’t looked back since.

Across 37 years, Cartwright has amassed more than 9000 runs, taken 142 wickets, 290 catches and 50 stumpings playing as wicketkeeper.

He served as the club’s secretary for four years and featured on their committee for a number of years.

Cartwright also served as president of the Gisborne and District Cricket Association.

During the 1998-99 season he received a life membership from the club for his work on and off the field.

Cartwright’s long term clubmate and fellow 400-game player Garry Wilson said Hoss has proven to be a “genuine all-rounder” over the years, as well a dependable clubman.

“Kevin’s overall commitment is what makes a community cricket club work, and in the current environment it is critical that community clubs like ours continue to offer an encouraging environment where players and supporters can relax and enjoy themselves,” Wilson said.

Unlike his mate, Cartwright was less willing to shower himself in praise.

“I batted anywhere between one and five, and I’d be bowling first and second change half the time. You wouldn’t call it pace, more like little wobblers, and as I’ve gotten older, they’ve gotten even wobblier,” he said.

“I played in about three premierships and lost another six.

“I don’t usually go into the accolades, but probably the best one was the year I captained and we won premiership.”

“I think my best knock was about 136 not out versus Macedon at home, it would have been in the mid to late 80s.”

Now operating primarily as a batsmen and a wicketkeeper, Cartwright said he’s seen plenty of change in the sport over the years, and not always, in his opinion, for the better.

“I can remember eight-ball overs,” he said.

“Another thing is the heat rule. If it hits 30 [degrees] at 11 o’clock you have to call it off, but then sometimes there’s a cool change by midday and you still can’t play.

“I’ve played in games when it was 40 plus degrees. Once upon a time you just played cricket and had some extra water if you needed it.”