Ian Petherick
Ian Petherick

Why give up your sporting passion in old age?

"ONE more season" has been veteran cricketer Ian Petherick's mantra since he turned forty but with the 72-year-old being made Australian captain for an Ashes tour, retirement doesn't seem on the cards even now.

Ian, who moved to Tweed Heads five years ago, is in the UK during August as captain of the Australian Over 70s Veterans Cricket team. The side won the series in Australia earlier this year with Ian leading the way scoring just the third century ever (117 not out) in Over 70s.

"Since I was 40 it was going to be one more year," he laughed, but it's hard to hang up your bat when your still making teams and receiving honours like captaining your country!

"It's my first time as captain, I was vice captain last time in Australia - it's a great honour, hopefully I can lead the side and still make runs," he said, admitting it wouldn't be easy.

"We won three-nil (here) where-as last time in England we lost two-one, it is a lot harder to win over there. A home side can always pick their best side - everybody is always available."

Cricket has been a life-long love for the former Lockyer Valley and Bundaberg man although he has only been making Queensland and Australian teams since he hit his 60s and 70s.

"I suppose I've been playing competitive cricket since I was 14," he said.

"I probably had a two or three- year gap in the (his) sixties when I retired, but then I found out about this veteran's cricket and started playing for Brisbane about six years ago.

"We lived in Bundaberg for 41 years where I played most of my cricket. I was brought up in the Lockyer Valley, played a little bit at Brisbane during my uni days and then Toowoomba, Maryborough and then Bundaberg. We crossed the border because we had a daughter with three children under two so we came down to help her out and we've been down here five years now!

"But I'm still playing cricket with the Queensland Veterans Cricket - there's eight teams in the A grade over 60s, we play interstate once a year against NSW in a two-day carnival and then these days we seem to get a trip overseas every two years or England come to Australia.

"I've had two tours with the over 60s, New Zealand and England and then this will be my second tour to England for Over 70s."

An 18-member squad will head to the UK this time to play three tests against the England Over 70s, one against Wales and then they take on county sides. In all Ian and his team will play 13-games in 28 days.

"Sport's either in your blood or it isn't and when you're a sportsman you keep going for as long as you can!" Ian laughed.

And as he scored 117 not out last test series (a feat that would exhaust someone half his age) it is obviously it also keeps him pretty fit!

"You've still got to train," he chuckled.

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