It won’t be the first time Mark Curry has gone to Western Australia for cricket.
The Mount Hutton 58-year-old travelled across the Nullarbor Plain once as a player and another as a coach – both representing NSW Country.
But this weekend will be just as, if not even more, satisfying when the all-rounder returns as an invited guest and gets inducted into the Australian Country Cricket Championships hall of fame.
“It’s pretty special,” Curry, better known by his nickname Prawns, said.
The former Charlestown and Belmont first grader and current Cardiff-Boolaroo coach will be joined by Queensland pair Brian May and Michael Warden as the first players to make the newly established honour roll.
The previous two groups of inductees were late tournament founders and long-serving administrators, but the efforts of those out in the middle will be recognised in 2018.
“I always enjoyed it,” the Hunter Sports High School deputy principal said.
“You got to play at different places around the country and it was always a good standard of cricket.”
Curry enjoyed a stellar career across 13 carnivals – eight as a player and five later as a coach – and recalls claiming four national titles.
He held the Bush Blues’ record for appearances (39) and runs (1916 at an average of 66.07) until surpassed by Merewether skipper Simon Moore within the last decade.
The left-handed batsman made five centuries and 13 fifties, featuring a highest score of 138.
The left-arm orthodox spinner also took 61 wickets at 20.07 apiece, with best figures of 6-55.
Throw in 18 catches for good measure and it’s little wonder the NSW Country star was named player of the series on three successive occasions from 1989-1990, which included a competition-topping 412 runs at 82.40 in 1991-1992.
“We had a lot of success as NSW which was really good,” he said. “But it’s the friendships that you make that last, rather than the cricket.”
The seven-time Newcastle player of the year and wife Julie depart the Hunter on Friday and will attend Saturday night’s official presentation dinner in Geraldton.
The event will mark the end of this year’s carnival.