DARRYL Jenkins is going to miss the little things that he loves about playing cricket; the banter from his mates and the beers to either celebrate a victory or drown his sorrows after a loss after 40 years playing for his beloved Kwinana Cricket Club.
Jenkins (58) has decided to call it a day after his body was no longer up to the challenge of opening the batting, which he has been doing since he started playing for the club in 1976.
He was instrumental in establishing the club’s grounds at Orelia Park, including keeping watch with his mates in a panel van while a new concrete pitch was laid.
“We had the 10am to 6pm shift to make sure that no one would come and write their initials in the pitch,” he said.
It was also the time when the only facilities at the oval was a toilet block which had a power outlet installed so the boys could get the urn on for afternoon tea.
He vividly remembers the first time he came to play for Kwinana and fell in love with the game.
“I could not get enough of it,” he said.
“In the winter I tried footy but it wasn’t for me, I was too short and slow so I would just hang out for summer.
“I love cricket and all these years later it just becomes part of your life.”
Jenkins notched his first 100 when he was just 17.
“I thought I was Greg Chappell and the world’s my oyster and this is an easy game,” he said.
“I went up to first grade and they brought me back to earth real quickly and I found out that it wasn’t that easy.”
Over the years, he has played for every grade competition and has not had many injuries, apart from a couple of fractured toes after he did not get out of the way of a few yorkers.
“But that’s all part of the laughs and the giggles with the boys,” he said.
While he enjoys having a hit, he has enjoyed the mateship most about his long association with the club.
He has also done his fair share of work behind the scenes, serving in several roles on the committee including senior vice president, secretary and committee member.
However, he was more interested in getting involved in hands-on activities like working bees and jobs like building the training nets and cleaning.
Most of all, he has enjoyed the mateship.
“Suburban team sports are not about winning or losing for me, it’s the camaraderie that I like the most,” he said.
“Obviously winning is better than losing but it’s just the boys having fun and having a beer after the game.
“We sing the club sing when we win or drown our sorrows when we lost.
“The game has a little bit of magic about it that I just found intoxicating but all good things come to an end.”
Jenkins has also enjoyed coaching and mentoring younger players, some of them third generation, and watching the club develop.
His godson Danny Bell is the club captain and coach and Darryl is happy that it is in safe hands.
He said he would come down and watch a few games but he was not a good spectator and was considering taking up another sport, maybe lawn bowls.
“Some of the guys think it’s absolutely awesome,” he said.
“But I’ll see what happens but it’s hard to move on and if I never play another sport, such is life, I’ve been blessed so I’m pretty happy.”