Cricket NSW: Bowler records 1000th club cricket wicket

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Photo Credit: Cricket NSW

On November 3, 2023, community cricketer Paul Compton reached a rare – maybe even unique – milestone in Australian cricket. Compton who plays for De La Salle Kingsgrove Cricket Club (DLSKCC) in Sydney’s Southern suburbs, took his 1000th wicket in Australian Club cricket.

Compton is 60 years old and this milestone has been a long time coming. He picked up the bat for his club as early as 10 and went through the entire club cricket pathway to start playing senior cricket around 1983. His 1000 wickets have come off the last 40 years of bowling right arm medium outswingers to his opponents.

He has also played for his one club all his life. DLSKCC is part of the St George District and Canterbury Western Suburbs Cricket Associations.

It was a nail-biting finish to Kingsgrove’s match against the South Sydney Juniors team at Peakhurst Park. “I kinda felt it was going to happen with this game. In a one-dayer limited to just five overs with a rain delay, I got two wickets in the last over, and luckily, I got my 1000th in the last ball of the match,” said Compton.

“It was a special feeling, knowing not many others have achieved this milestone, especially as it took me 40 years. Cricket has always been special to me. I like the competitiveness of the game but more so, it’s the mateship and camaraderie with the team and our club.”

Compton’s long list of wickets owes itself as much to his own bowling skills as the fact that his club has kept every record of every ball he’s bowled and every wicket he has taken for the last 40 years.

A banker by profession, ‘Compo’, as his mates call him, grew up in a cricket-loving family and he was one of five brothers who all played the game. His father, Keith Compton, who played cricket until he was 50, got him started on this long road of the love for the game. “He taught me and many others to embody the spirit of cricket in every game, to play hard and fair. A true gentleman, my father,” said Compton.

Compton, in turn, plays the game with his children. His sons Adam and Luke play for the club, and two of his other children, Taylor and Emily, played junior cricket back in the day.

DLSKCC committee member Matt Goddard is not only proud of Compton’s achievement, but also that of the club in making sure the achievement could be recorded through stats and data that the club has carefully preserved and archived. DLSKCC acknowledges there may be others that have done it, but this is believed to be the first 1000-wicket club cricket haul that has been recorded in its entirety.

“Through the years, Paul has always stayed loyal to the club, but most importantly to cricket. We wanted to make this moment as memorable and special for the bloke as we possibly can,” said Goddard.

A club member, Damien McGovern, has kept accurate scorebooks since Day One. Most of the club’s scorebooks since the 1960s have been digitised as well. “We have made sure every wicket has been accounted for and doing what a lot of other clubs have been unable to do for a season, let alone 30+ years or more. All 1000 wickets that Compton has taken so far are accounted for and are there for everyone to see,” said Goddard.

As for Compton himself, he’s only glad he’s finished with the job. The excitement has been building for almost two months now, ever since the season started with his career total at 992. Since then, every weekend has been a riot of anticipation for everyone at his club. When he was just three wickets away from 1000, during the last week of October, the excitement reached its peak. He celebrated his achievement with a few quiet beers with his mates from the only club he ever played for, and went home to tell his wife Angela and his family that he had finally done it!

Cricket NSW congratulated Compton on his achievement and will present him with a certificate to mark his achievement.

Craig McLean, Head of Community Cricket, Cricket NSW, said:

“Community cricketers such as Paul Compton embody the true spirit of the game. We celebrate his wonderful achievement of getting his 1000th wicket and his loyalty to his club.

Cricket is a sport for everyone and it is moments such as these that encourage our younger cricketers to play and love the game for a lifetime.”

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