Cricket: Murray Jarvis has 25th season with Greerton

By Peter White

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Greerton cricketer Murray Jarvis is into his 25th consecutive season playing for the club's Premier team.
Greerton cricketer Murray Jarvis is into his 25th consecutive season playing for the club's Premier team.

It is rare these days for Premier quality club cricketers to stay put at one club.

For various reasons players often end up with two or three clubs on their cricketing CVs so the longevity and loyalty shown by Greerton's Murray Jarvis is quite remarkable.

The 41-year-old is in his 25th season playing Premier grade for the club based at the picturesque Pemberton Park. He has never missed a season over all those years and is definitely not just making up the numbers.

The man known as Muzz is a consistent wicket taker with his medium-paced cutters, proving the old adage that if you bowl the ball straight and full you will get batsmen out.

His role at the club has changed somewhat since he first arrived in 1989 after making his senior club debut with Tauranga Boys' College.

Back then Jarvis was a talented, hard hitting batsman who bowled sometimes but he admits these days he does not do a lot of batting.

He says he prefers to let the younger guys get a chance to showcase their skills.

It is typical of his selfless approach to the game and to the club that has been home for so long.

"I just love playing the game and the team environment," Jarvis said.

"I like the challenge and I like to compete, and am more competitive these days because I have more to prove. It is still a good feeling getting someone out.

"Greerton is a good club, it always has been. We haven't always won a lot but we are starting to win stuff now. The club has always had a good social atmosphere and is always something to look forward to after the game - especially if you win."

Jarvis is proud to have his name on the club honours board twice for making a century and for taking two 6-wicket bags and one 7-wicket haul including a hat trick.

His batting highlight is a knock of 138 against Te Puke that started with enough farce to be a Monty Python script.

Jarvis and old school mate Cameron Burns opened the batting and when Jarvis was hit on the pads he looked up to see what he thought was the umpire giving him out. So he trudged off towards the boundary only for Burns to call out for him to get back in his crease.

It turns out the umpire was signalling the ball going down leg. As Jarvis went back to the crease, (former Black Cap) Mathew Hart picked the ball up and threw the stumps down with Jarvis out of his crease.

"I was about 2 metres out of my crease but the umpire had turned around and was watching some bird walk along the road so wasn't watching," Jarvis continued laughing.

"While there was a massive appeal and all sorts of calls of cheating and you name it, I continued my innings quite rightly and made 138."

Jarvis says the future for Greerton looks as good as it has for a long time, with recent recruiting of some of the Bay's top young talent from Tauranga Boys'.

"It has to be good for the club and it is where Greerton has always got their players from. Now we are getting a steady influx of TBC and higher quality players, we are winning a lot more games."

As to how long he will keep playing, Jarvis plays that with a typically straight bat.

"I will just take that as it comes. I am sure we will get to a state soon where the squad will be so strong that I will probably have to be forced into playing reserves. That's fine and I am cool with that but as long as I can keep taking wickets I will keep getting selected."

Jarvis is one of the great characters of the game with an endless array of witty stories from the past and his famous one liners to keep his team mates amused.

He says that is how he schools up the younger players on the club's past.

"They get filled in on every cricket Saturday in the ways of what has gone on in the past at Greerton."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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