Published: 10th March, 2018
Surrey wicket-keeper batsman Ollie Pope has received a glowing tribute – in the parliament of New South Wales!
Pope is heading to Barbados this weekend to play in the North v South series that starts there next Sunday, but before that has enjoyed a spectacular summer of success in Sydney, playing grade cricket for the Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts in the top flight of the highly competitive Sydney club scene.
He quickly established himself as a well liked and respected member of the club, regularly scoring big runs as well as contributing across all club business – including regularly helping out with junior coaching.
Normally this level of commitment would see Pope rewarded with a firm handshake and a nice leaving present upon the conclusion of his stint – however, with one of the stalwarts of Campbelltown-Camden enjoying a seat in the New South Wales parliament, this time Pope got a slightly different leaving present.
At 12.45pm Sydney time on Tuesday March 6th, Chris Patterson MP took to his feat to launch a glowing tribute to Pope, saying: “I commend Ollie Pope, one of the cricketers at the Campbelltown-Camden District Cricket Club, also known as the mighty Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts.
“He has maintained his good form throughout an outstanding season with the Ghosts. Ollie has the highest runs scored and leads the club’s dismissals as a wicket keeper. Ollie played 23 games, including 17 first grade games and six games in the Poidevin-Gray Shield under-21 competition. Ollie amassed 996 runs for the season, which included three centuries, and 38 dismissals—an accomplishment Ollie should be very proud of. We certainly are.
“Ollie’s contribution to the Ghosts’ cricket has been outstanding. Off the field he has been an absolute gentleman and a wonderful role model with a strong work ethic. Ollie has shown respect for the game and his fellow players—a true sportsman in every sense of the word. Ollie is a fantastic trainer and he was very generous with his time, skill and experience, which benefited all the grade players at the Ghosts.
“His wealth of knowledge as a first class keeper was shared with all the keepers at the club and I know they all gained from Ollie being at the club. My son, Tom, a lower grade keeper at the Ghosts, learned a great deal from training alongside Ollie. I am sure Ollie’s family is extremely proud of him.”
Patterson continued on for a number of minutes – before his tribute was responded to by no less than the Minister for Sport in New South Wales, Stuart Ayres, who added: “It is a rare moment that a New South Wales member of Parliament speaks with such passion about an Englishman, but if a person is hitting hundreds and taking five dismissals in a match for the cricket club he is so passionate about—as is the case for the member for Camden and his beloved Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts—it is understandable that the member would extol the virtues of Ollie Pope and his contribution to the team.
“Today the member for Camden has spoken about the significant turnaround in form that has happened in this cricket club over the last 12 months. Whilst I might call myself more of a Penrith Panther when it comes to the conduct of the Sydney district cricket competition, it is always fantastic to see sides from Western Sydney doing so well. That, as the member for Camden said, is in no small part due to the contribution made by Ollie Pope to the team.”