Eric’s terrific gesture leaves Birstall legacy

Eric Austin stands in front of the scoreboard at  Birstall CC, which the club have named after him.
Eric Austin stands in front of the scoreboard at Birstall CC, which the club have named after him.
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It is fitting that Eric Austin will play his final game in England with the club where he started his career 18 years ago when Birstall travel to Wakefield Thornes on Saturday.

The popular Kiwi has amassed 3,524 runs during two spells with the Leeds Road club and a score of 98 or more on Saturday will see him reach the 12,000 run milestone in Central Yorkshire League cricket.

Austin will be fondly remembered by the Birstall members and wanted to give something back to the club before he leaves for home.

Austin’s contribution to help Birstall refurbish their scoreboard led to the club naming it after one of their all-time great players.

Austin explained: “I spoke with the powers that be before the season and thought it would be nice to give something back, so I decided to contribute my match fees to the scoreboard fund.

“It’s created a bit of a legacy and I was chuffed that the club asked me.

“In 10 or 20 years time my name will still be on the scoreboard and when people ask who was Eric Austin? People can say he was this lad that came over from New Zealand to play a bit of cricket and he wasn’t too bad.

“I’ve had a brilliant time in England and met some great friends who I will miss.

“I just hope it doesn’t rain for my final match on Saturday, although I recall my first game here in England was snowed off, so you never know with the weather.”

Austin has scored 523 league runs for Birstall this season, including two centuries, and would have been well on course to pass the 1,000 milestone for a fourth time in his CYL career.

Austin scored 3,996 runs for Mirfield Parish Cavaliers between 2002-2005, made 349 in an injury hit season with Scholes in 2006 and amassed 4,033 runs during two spells at Wrenthorpe (2001 and 2007-2012).