ONCE a regular feature preparing lunches and cheering her sons on at Queanbeyan games, Cathy Frost admits she doesn’t get down to the cricket as often as she once did these days.
But watching her son Michael blast his way to a quick-fire 86 for the Bluebags against Ginninderra third grade at Town Park last weekend, Cathy’s mind quickly turned to earlier times.
Of days when Michael’s aggressive top-order stroke play would terrorise first-grade bowling line-ups with regularity.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, it was vintage Michael batting out there,” Cathy said of her son’s recent efforts at the crease. “It was just amazing. I had to go but I thought to myself, ‘the way he’s batting, I should probably stay, he’ll make 100.’”
And with Michael gearing up for his 500th ACT Grade Cricket appearance this weekend, Cathy’s memories of her son wielding the willow go back further than his days one of the most destructive batsman in Canberra.
Back to a time when Michael and younger brother Stephen were first introduced to the game as youngsters, mucking around with a homemade bat out on the street.
“I remember when Michael and Stephen would have been four or five and their dad had made them a bat out of a plank of wood,” Cathy recalls.
“They’d be out there with it on the footpath and even though they’d never been to a cricket game, they knew how to hold it and what to do with it. They were just naturally gifted from an early age.”
They’re days that Stephen also remembers with fondness. A Queanbeyan club great in his own right with 346 games to his credit, Stephen said there were never any thoughts of Michael easing up when facing off against his younger sibling.
“There was no holding back between to two of us,” he said. Even though I was 18 months younger I felt as though I could hold my own so we had some great games.
“We always had a game going on during summer, wherever we had a road to make a pitch and any stairs or walls or bins around would fill in as fielders.
“I don’t know how many broken windows there were back in those days, my parents would probably have a better idea about that.”