The Camberwell Magpies Cricket Club (CMCC) is pleased to announce Ben Rowles as the club’s new First XI captain for the 2021/22 season.
The 28-year-old takes over the role from Andrew Fekete, who is standing down after three years at the helm. Pleasingly for the club, Fekete will remain as part of the Magpies’ senior leadership as an Assistant Bowling Coach for this season.
Rowles will be supported in the leadership position by Will Walker, who has been elevated to the role of First XI vice-captain.
Known to many as ‘Sos’, Rowles has been a consistent contributor for the Magpies since his arrival from Mildura in 2012/13.
Making his way up the grades as a determined opening batsman, Rowles made his First XI debut in his second year at the club and has played a total of 49 games in the top grade.
Within his career tally of 3750 runs at an average of 28.20, Rowles has chalked up five club centuries (four in the Second XI) including a top score of 122 in the First XI against Melbourne in 2018/19. That same year, he was awarded the John Birch Trophy as the club’s champion player, the First XI Batting Average, and Alan Barr Trophy for the highest senior aggregate run-scorer for the season.
Rowles is coming off an injury-interrupted season in 2020/21 which saw him restricted to just the final two matches of the season. However, this hasn’t stopped the CMCC committee from showing their overwhelming support of his selection as captain.
Head of CMCC Cricket Operations, Mark Dwyer, said along with a new Senior Coach in Ben Ryan, the club was looking forward to the next phase in its history under the guidance of Rowles as captain.
“Ben has been identified as a leader almost from the moment he arrived at the club from Mildura,” Dwyer said.
“He is constantly driving training standards and has a passion for making those around him better. As a committee, we are excited for Ben to lead the club knowing the passion and drive he will bring to the role.
“The club would also like to thank Andrew Fekete for his efforts as captain. We are very lucky to have him continue on his playing career this season and mentor Ben and Will with his experience.”
The ascension of Will Walker to the club’s vice-captaincy adds another honour to his ever-growing list of career achievements.
The fiery left-arm quick arrived at the Magpies from Mansfield in 2010/11 and has since put together a playing career that has him in the conversation as one of the club’s greatest ever bowlers.
From 177 club games (156 in the First XI), Walker has taken 285 wickets at 22.24, with a career-best haul of 6/45 against Fitzroy Doncaster in 2015/16. Across the competition, the 28-year-old is regarded as one of the best exponents of the swinging ball in the state, reflected by three separate selections in the Victorian Premier Cricket Team of the Season (2015/16, 2017/18, and 2018/19) and a Victorian Second XI call up in 2016/17.
From a club awards perspective, Walker has also won the Radcliffe Grace Perpetual Trophy as the club’s highest senior aggregate wicket-taker twice and the club’s First XI Bowling Average three times.
“For a long time now, Will has been the spiritual leader of the bowling attack and constant driver of energy at training,” Dwyer said.
“It's great for this to get recognised with the vice-captaincy for the upcoming season and we think 'Bill' will be the perfect foil for Ben both on and off the field.”
Everyone at CMCC looks forward to seeing Ben and Will leading from the front this season and we wish them all the best.
Editor: Josh Nevett