Triple hat-trick was ?pretty wild
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
"IT WAS pretty wild, I couldn't believe what had happened.'' That was the reaction from Anthony Claridge who took a TRIPLE hat-trick for The Glen Black against BITS Gold in their Gladstone Cricket B grade clash at Sun Valley Oval last Sunday.
The former A grade player hadn't done much in his opening two overs and little would he know his world would turn upside down by the time he finished his third.
After a dot ball and a wide, Claridge took five wickets with his next five balls.
"They (BITS Gold) were smashing us around a bit and it didn't look good for us,'' he said.
"I don't bowl too much nowadays, so I thought I would have a go and roll the arm over.
"Everything was a bit of a blur for me after that, but I can remember the bloke who faced the hattrick ball went for a slog and missed and the last two guys were plumb lbw.
"I couldn't believe it and neither could all the boys, everything just happened so fast.''
As for writing his name into cricket history, Claridge was philosophical.
"I worked nightshift after the game was finished and I only think it really sunk in what I achieved when I was at work a few hours later,'' he said.
"I got a hat-trick at a junior carnival when I was 14, but this eclipses that by far.
"It is a bit of cricket history I suppose and something no-one can take it away from me.''
What made the feat even more special for Claridge is the fact he has bounced back after a serious industrial accident.
His leg had to be rebuilt and in Claridge's own words he was 'lucky' to actually keep it.
After three years off the park, it was his love for cricket which saw him return to action in B grade and he hasn't looked back.
"Even though the leg still gives me some troubles, I just love being back playing,'' he said.
"B grade is a good comp and it is great to play with a great bunch of blokes which makes it all worthwhile.''
But Claridge wouldn't describe Sunday, February 19, 2006 as a perfect day for one big reason.
"They still beat us,'' he laughed.
That just shows the character of a man who has not only bounced back from adversity, but has written his name into the Gladstone Cricket history books forever.