By Kyle Wisniewski (The Mercury)
IT has been a strong innings so far for Paul Buttge, who will reach a major Southern Cricket Association milestone this weekend for the Hobart Cricket Club.
Tomorrow Buttge will play his 400th game for Hobart when it takes on Bothwell Cricket Club.
Buttge started playing for Hobart as a fill-in. Now, more than two decades later, he can’t imagine not being a part of his beloved club.
“The club is a great place to be,” Buttge said. “It is very social and a great family club.
“I have been the Treasurer for five years now and have been on the committee for 10.”
There have been many highlights for the 49-year-old during his time at the club, including a competition best and fairest and a premiership in the 2008/09 season, however there is one individual performance that stands out.
In 1999 Buttge recorded astonishing figures of 9-30 in a remarkable spell with the ball that kick-started his bowling career.
“I had only taken three career wickets up to that stage and I now have 375,” he said.
“After taking nine wickets the captain then started to bowl me.”
The Hobart Cricket Club has only recently taken on the name of the state’s capital city; until then it played under the name of whatever hotel or pub would sponsor them.
During the mid-1990s the club made Risdon Vale Oval its home ground and if Buttge is not there playing cricket on the weekend he will be at the Risdon Brook Hotel enjoying his teammate’s company.
Buttge is still enjoying his cricket and is still taking wickets with what he describes as off-spin paced in-swingers.
“I bowl what we call pies,” he said. “Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
“My body is holding up OK and I’m still enjoying playing.”