Kratz named top digger

IT was a tough task for the selection panel, but Rod Kratz was named captain of the Diggers Ex-Services team of the half century.

The team was revealed at the club’s 50-year anniversary celebrations on Saturday night.

Considering the longstanding contribution Kratz made to the club on and off the field, there were few among the crowd of 161 at the dinner who disagreed with the selection.

“There have been a lot of good cricketers play for the club over 50 years, but one of the selection criteria was that only appearances for Diggers were taken into account,” club president and thrilled member of the team of the half-century Stephen Meakins said.

“When you take everything into account the selectors had to choose him as captain.”

Kratz was a foundation member and over a period of 32 seasons he made a club record 255 appearances in the club’s first grade team.

Counted among his many achievements is the fact Kratz holds the record for the most runs scored in first grade for the club (5771), as well as the record for the highest individual score in an innings by a Diggers player.

He was a captain who had the respect of the players in his team, leading Diggers to three premierships in the 1970s.

In the latter stages of his career he also performed a useful role behind the stumps as wicketkeeper.

The team Kratz leads is a beauty, with some of the greatest names in the history of Coffs Harbour cricket selected with him.

Ross Haworth is considered one of, if not the finest, all-round cricketers from the Coffs Coast and he was selected as vice-captain of the team.

Tony Mainey, David Heptonstall, Brian Schweitzer, Craig Haworth, Don Easy, Graeme Henry, Terry Herbert, Robert Alford, Tony Dean were also named.

Meakins, the holder of the club record with 182 catches and 30 stumpings, was named as the team’s wicketkeeper.

He said the honour of being selected was thrilling.

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