Grant Brookland with son Flynn

FAMILY TIMES: Timaru cricket stalwart Grant Brookland (right) will have plenty of time to help his four-year-old son Flynn with his technique, now he has retired from senior club cricket.

Staying away from the cricket field will not come naturally to Grant Brookland, but it is his aim next summer.

The Timaru club stalwart ended his playing days on Saturday, after 17 seasons of senior cricket.

The 35-year-old said that after a long time devoting his summers to the game he loved, it was time to be “selfish”.

“I know some of the boys were saying on Saturday `Oh you’re only a phone call away’, but I don’t think so.

“I think I’ll look to stay away [from the games]), almost on purpose.

Brookland started playing senior cricket for Timaru as a fresh-faced 17-year-old out of Mountainview High School during the 1993/1994 season.

Over time, he evolved as a handy middle-order batsman, but when he forced his way in to the South Canterbury representative side in 1994, he got there with his work behind the stumps.

“I was initially a [wicket] keeper – and while I was at Mountainview. I was brought back to Timaru by some of the older guys.

“They [Timaru] needed a wicketkeeper, so that’s why I went there.”

Brookland started playing junior cricket for Timaru at age nine.

A member of the Hawke Cup-winning team in 2000, Brookland donned the green and black South Canterbury cap 93 times.

His stint in representative colours shadowed that of former South Canterbury captain Todd Elliotte.

Brookland said he was disappointed not to make 100 appearances for South Canterbury, but work commitments and illness had restricted his availability.

He said cricket had provided him with many life-long friendships and memories.

Winning the Tweedy Cup two-day competition in 2007/2008 and two consecutive one-day final wins over Celtic stood out, as well as the Hawke Cup triumph.

His highest club score of 153, against Temuka in a one-day match was an innings he considered to be the best of his four club centuries.

He said the secret of the Hawke Cup success was the eager nature of the team and the coaching of Justin Paul.

“We were all really young guys, pretty fit and keen. Everyone did their jobs.

“Justin was really great, he just knew how to coach us. He’d not been long out [of the game], so he still had the feel for it.”

Brookland’s four-year-old son Flynn would now play an integral part in his weekend plans, along with his wife Rebecca.

He said it was time to get a golf club membership and ride mountain bikes.


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