No-one has reached a higher level in so many different aspects of cricket in Canberra than Kevin Victor McCarty. Beyond Kevin no longer being around to discuss that opinion, not much of relevance has changed since Don Selth published ‘Cricket in the Limestone Plains’ twenty-five years ago.
McCarty is the only person in Canberra (and perhaps Australia) who has played in, captained and umpired matches against overseas Test teams, and the only person who has been President of both the Umpires Association and the Cricket Association.
Kevin’s playing career spanned more than thirty years after he made his first grade debut for Ainslie in 1950 (finishing with City District Cricket Club, a successor to Ainslie, based at Reid Oval ). He was a leg-spinning all-rounder who burst into Canberra cricket headlines with an innings of 117 as a 14 year old playing for Ainslie against Northbourne in a sub-district match in 1947. On the other hand, he was a good enough spinner to take 38 first grade wickets (at 11.71) in 1956-57.
He captained first grade premiership teams (e.g. City DCC in 1969-70), ACT representative teams (player number 233) and, in February 1968, Southern NSW in a match against an Indian team. He took 39 wickets at an average of 23.85 in representative matches. He is one of only two players to score 4,000 runs and take 400 wickets in first grade.
Long before he retired from playing he devoted a great deal of his life to the administration of cricket in the ACT. He was a member of the Grade Cricket Committee during 1968 to 1970 and again in 1978-79; he served intermittently on the ACT Selection Committee between 1966 and 1984; he was ACTCA Treasurer from 1967 until 1970, and served on the Executive Committee from 1967 until 1975. If that wasn’t sufficient service, he topped it up with being ACTCA President for 5 years after his initial election in August 1970. He was made a Life Member of the ACTCA in 1976.
Then he applied his talents to umpiring. He first qualified as an umpire in 1973. Umpires Council records have him standing on a total of 829 days, second only to the 842 days of another great servant of Canberra cricket, the late Derek Gould. He stood in seven matches against visiting Test teams between 1981 and 1988 as well as several other international matches, and was the first ACT umpire appointed to stand in the annual Prime Minister’s XI match at Manuka Oval when he joined Tony Crafter in umpiring the 1986 match against England. He also was an ACT representative scorer in 9 matches.
As always, he didn’t just stand; he did something. He was President of the Umpires Association from 1982 until 1989, at the end of which Life Membership of this Association was added to his trophy cabinet.
Vale Kevin Victor McCarty; thanks for your time.