De La Salle Kingsgrove Cricket Club bowler Paul Compton has reached a rare and extraordinary milestone taking his 1000th wicket on Saturday November 4, and it only took him 40 years.
Twenty five wickets a year doesn't sound that hard -you just have to keep rolling the arm over and over....
Paul's first over was bowled on October 8 1983 with his first delivery called a no-ball. He went on to take 15 wickets in his first season.
Paul had bowled approximately 5042.5 overs before Saturday, January 22, 2022 when he took his first career hat-trick - with figures of 4/31.
This wicket tally puts him technically on the same score sheet as Shane Warne - he took 1001 wickets in his international career and more than Glenn McGrath who took only 949.
The big difference is Paul plays in the Community Cricket Competition - where you play for fun but still competitively in local parks.
Craig McLean, Head of Community Cricket at Cricket NSW said community cricketers such as Paul Compton embody the true spirit of the game.
"We celebrate his loyalty to his club. Cricket is a sport for everyone and it is moments such as these that encourage our younger cricketers to play and love the game."
The 60-year-old bank employee, finally completed the feat in his 40th season representing the club.
He took the wicket of batsman Finn O'Neill with his final delivery of the match against Coogee Bay at Peakhurst Park, a mistimed pull shot that it was caught at mid-wicket by teammate Achilleas Spanos and fittingly winning the game.
Compton said to be honest he's glad it's all over.
"I'm bowled over with the attention," he said. "My dad instilled in me to just bowl straight. If they miss it, you hit the stumps. I'm not a quick bowler, never been fast.
"That last hundred wickets was the hardest though."
Of his 1000 wickets with the club, 422 were bowled, 458 were caught, 113 LBW, there were two stumpings and a hit wicket with four unknown due to a lost scorecard.
Compton has won seven premierships at DLSKCC, earning life membership in 2011. He claimed career-best figures of 8-30 against Allawah Hunters in 1987, also snaring his first hat-trick against Illawarra Catholic Club in January last year.
He has played the most seasons for the Kingsgrove Club, the most innings battered, the most not outs, the most overs bowled, the most maidens bowled, the most runs conceded, the most 5 wkts innings (33), and is also in the top 10 for runs scored and catches taken.
His captain Anthony McMahon said it was an absolute pleasure to see him reach his unbelievable milestone.
"He is a magnificent competitor and a true gentleman."
Life long friend Damien McGovern first started playing with Paul at De La in 1984/5 season and still plays in the same team today.
"He's been a great team-mate over many years a great competitor. I just wish he wouldn't bowl down leg side so often," he said
Compton, is one of five brothers who played cricket, along with his father Keith, his inspiration. He has no intention of retiring anytime soon. He continues playing the game in his dad's honour.
"I'm lucky I haven't had any career ending injuries. I'm going to keep playing until my body breaks down. I've really just outlasted everybody."
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