Monday, October 3, 2022

SACA: Tegan McPharlin calls stumps on state cricket

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Tegan McPharlin, one of the most respected and experienced players to ever represent South Australia, has officially retired from state cricket.

Signing off with a guard of honour following last Sunday’s WNCL decider against Tasmania, McPharlin has called time on her career with the Scorpions; however remains in contention for another WBBL season as an Adelaide Striker.

Departing the playing surface as the fourth most prolific Scorpion in history with 86 games in the kit bag, behind only Karen Rolton (114), Lauren Ebsary (93) and Shelly Nitschke (89), McPharlin’s impact on cricket in the southern state will only strengthen with the passing of time, such is the positive influence the 33-year-old has had on players, staff and fans alike.

Receiving deserved recognition for her inspiring passion and commitment to South Australian sport, McPharlin tonight became the inaugural winner of the Coaches Award, presented onstage by Luke Williams at the Dansie McCauley Awards Night. Created to recognise a player who has gone above and beyond in support of their teammates, there could be no more fitting maiden recipient than McPharlin, someone who habitually thinks of others before herself.

Captain from 2016 to 2018 in addition to a huge string of games while successor Megan Schutt represented Australia and vice-captain during South Australia’s drought-breaking 2015/16 title triumph, McPharlin is one of just nine players to score 1000 runs in Scorpions red. Behind the stumps, she finishes top of the tree for dismissals as a wicketkeeper with 75 (from 54 games as in the position).

Famous within the squad for her exuberant celebrations at the fall of a wicket, the list of reasons McPharlin’s name is so widely revered is longer than the 93 kilometre drive she regularly completes between hometown Balaklava and Adelaide for every training session.

Much more important to McPharlin than the numbers however would undoubtably be the high regard those she has played both with and against hold her in, highlighting a domestic career spanning more than 15 years. Every member of the Scorpions squad dressed as McPharlin for their end of season celebrations earlier this week, in tribute to the selfless South Aussie’s contribution to the Scorpions positive culture.

Forever a WNCL Championship winner, McPharlin opened the batting alongside Bridget Patterson when South Australia faced off against NSW for the 2015/16 trophy, a decider they would win by 54-runs to claim a maiden title, bringing a decade of dominance from the Breakers to an end.

Many moments will live long in the memory for Scorpions fans, including a match-winning partnership with Lauren Ebsary in 2014/15 that saw South Australia qualify for their first Final since 2007/08, and a powerful knock of 62 from 68 against ACT last summer that almost single-handedly dragged the side into another decider.

Unassuming and faultlessly humble, McPharlin has never been one for personal recognition, preferring to promote others while she beams with pride in the background. While she may not seek to be the centre of attention, McPharlin has been at the heart of South Australian cricket for a very long time due to her energy, positivity and genuine compassion.

Sorry Tegan, but tonight we cannot allow you to expertly sidestep the limelight while gently nudging a teammate forward for recognition. Tonight we celebrate what you have achieved, marvel at the current and future generations you have inspired and thank you for making cricket a richer, kinder and more joyous game.

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