Clark takes 600th wicket in first grade

TONY Clark reached a significant milestone two rounds ago in Sydney first-grade cricket.

The now-Blacktown captain and life member of Sutherland, his former club, took his 600th wicket and became only the sixth player to achieve the 600 wickets-6000 runs double in first grade history.

"It only took me 33 seasons," joked the 46-year-old yesterday, but he wasn't interested in talking about personal milestones.

Of greater pleasure was the Blacktown batsmen's scoring 309 runs against the University of NSW on the Village Green on Saturday.

And it wasn't due to one player scoring a big century.

Most of the batting order contributed.

Nathan Sowter, 69, Cameron Lowe, 50, Tim T Doonan, 43, not out, Mitch Hinds, 34, and on . . . it was a team performance.

Clark was both pleased and frustrated.

Pleased because the bats had produced the ensemble performance he'd always known they were capable of.

Frustrated because he believed Blacktown's lowly place this season wasn't reflective of the club's ability.

"It starts with training," he said of success.

"We've had no training at all."

He said the state of the practice wickets and the main wicket had undermined their season, and it wasn't coincidental the runs came on Saturday after the Warriors had practised on a decent wicket.

"People like former Test player Phil Jacques and state player Tim Cruikshank have said Joe McAleer is the worst wicket they've played on," he said. "It hasn't helped that I've won just two tosses."

He added without proper training Blacktown couldn't build a proper structure and it had been the case in his four years at the club.

Clark hoped a meeting with Blacktown Council this week might resolve the wicket issue.

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