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The Snick - Queanbeyan Cricket – 150 years strong......

As we approach the 150th anniversary of the Queanbeyan Cricket Club, The Queanbeyan Age takes a look back at the incredible history behind the baggy blue cap.

QUEANBEYAN District Cricket Club’s longest serving president and first grade premiership player Rodney Winchester epitomizes the spirit, work ethic and the passion of the Bluebags.

Winchester came through the junior ranks as a fiery opening bowler and stoic top-order batsman.

And once he made the transition into the senior ranks, it wasn’t long before he began to show glimpses of the unflappable leader that resided within the club’s ranks.

Winchester was part of a dream team of Queanbeyan juniors that dominated the ACT junior competition during the late 1970s and early 1980s alongside the likes of Peter Solway, Michael Carruthers, Roger Cushieri and Mark Lynch. All of these great players went on to play their part in successful first grade sides.

Winchester made his first grade debut in the 1983 season, going on to play in the 1985/86 first grade premiership side.

After another full season in the top grade, he moved on to captain the second grade side where he was a premiership winning skipper.

He also played periodically in first grade as required right up until the 1996 season, playing 61 matches in total and scoring a tick over 1000 runs.

His bowling however, never reached his junior heights and solitary figures of one over, 0/12 was his only recorded effort.

The biggest challenge for Winchester came in the 1992/93 season when he took over the QDCC presidency from club stalwart and life member Phil Moon.

Over the next nine seasons, Winchester guided the club through many ups and downs.

It was a difficult era for the club, coming off a golden period of success and following the departures of Solway, Brad Haddin, Shane McNamee and Simon Mann to ANU. In such a period, success was always going to be harder to come by.

Through this time he helped bring through many fine players. Mark Higgs and Nathan Reid were outstanding juniors, while players of the ilk of Jason Swift, Steve O’Shaughnessy, Michael O’Rourke and Hugh Renshaw all played incredibly important roles.

A quiet, unassuming character, Winchester was highly regarded as an administrator by everyone in ACT cricket. He was selfless in his approach and always put others, and Queanbeyan before his own personal gain.

He would take on any task and was prepared to tackle any issue to continue the traditions of the Bluebags.

A move interstate for work reasons unfortunately saw his long-distinguished relationship with the club come to an end but his love for the mighty Bluebags still burns strong.

And with three growing lads who share their father’s love of the game, perhaps the Winchester name will once again feature on a Queanbeyan scorebook in the future.

Meanwhile, Queanbeyan’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebrations – to be held from February 22-24 – edge ever closer. The occasion will be a wonderful chance for players from across many eras to catch up with friends and share their reflections on past performances.

A little reminder to everyone out there that the QDCC is partnered by Sportslink Travel and a number of Bluebaggers (and anyone else interested) will be on an Ashes Tour in 2013.

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