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SACA celebrates 50-year memberships

One hundred and thirty three seasoned cricket lovers recently attended the South Australian Cricket Association luncheon for long-time SACA members of 50 years or more, held in recognition of their loyalty and support.

Fourteen of these members had reached the incredible milestone of having 65-plus years of membership.

Humbling to see was three generations of SACA Members in attendance with sons and daughters accompanying their parents and some with 20-something-aged grandchildren in tow.

SACA Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw addressed the VIP crowd with a poignant speech, noting the progress South Australian cricket has made since the 2014 50-year luncheon when the Shield team was bottom of the ladder, the women’s team was bottom, the Strikers had missed out on the finals and there were no South Australian players representing Australia.

Bradshaw highlighted many things that have happened since that time, including a new high-performance manager, a new coach for the men, a full-time coach for the women and a fresh approach to recruiting local young talent. Following this, SA finished at the top of the Shield ladder in the finals hosted at Adelaide Oval in 2015, the women’s team beat NSW in the finals after 11 years of their lead, the Strikers finished top of the ladder twice (losing both semi-finals) and SA has ten players from the men’s and women’s teams who have been selected to play for Australia. To top off the stats, Australian cricket had a total of 14 days where the attendance topped 40,000 with the MCG claiming six of those, Etihad with one, SGC with zero and Adelaide Oval with seven of those days.

Without doubt, South Australian cricket – on and off the field – has come a long way. Bradshaw credited progress to long-time members for their input.

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We have an accumulated 8,062 years of SACA membership in this room. This represents an enormous reservoir of experience, knowledge and cricket intel.

“As Chief Executive, I am very conscious of trying to tap into that experience and have found it invaluable to get the opinions of many members and the public alike.

“We are proud of our results but we are striving to be better.”