GREG Jones swung the bat for the final time on Saturday, when he played his 300th and last game for MDU Cricket Club in the C1 match against Korumburra at the Wonthaggi Football Ground.
It brought an end to an illustrious career which has spanned an estimated 650 games of senior cricket, which began as a 13 year-old for Dumbalk North in 1961.
The MDU life member has now retired and last year was recognised for 50 years of service to cricket with an award from Cricket Victoria, where he was a guest at a special luncheon for a Sheffield Shield match at the MCG.
He has played for Dumbalk North, Meeniyan, Mirboo North and MDU, serving on the committee at all clubs and captaining sides for each club.
Greg was president of MDU for two seasons and has won many club batting trophies during his career.
His son Dean has also played over 300 games for MDU and is a life member. He was there watching on Saturday along with other family members.
Korumburra players formed a guard of honour for Greg as he strode out to open the batting on Saturday.
But he didn’t have the fairy tale finish to his career, making 12 runs before his side was restricted to 8/88 in reply to Korumburra’s 181.
It did little to take away from his efforts, with MDU president Craig Hoober paying tribute to the popular clubman.
“He’s done everything; he’s played in premierships, he’s been president, won individual club awards and association awards,” he said.
“When I first started playing senior cricket at 16 I was opening the batting with him in A Grade.
“He’s been a great batsman throughout his career and is still making runs. He got 18 runs last week in C1 and he’s 68, it’s a bloody good effort.
“After 650 games of cricket, to still be playing at age 68 is a credit to him for looking after his body. The lower grades allow this to still happen and he loves nothing more than having a beer after the game with the opposition.
“He’s still got a really competitive spirit in him which is why he’s been so hard to get out as a batsman and he always valued his wicket.
“He’s enjoyed playing with older blokes and the young blokes coming through. He’ll hand the mantle over to some of the younger ones now. We’ve got plenty of under 16s who are keen to step up.”