Tamworth first-grade cricket: loyal cricket servant Terry Psarakis stars for South Tamworth against Old Boys

SPECIAL: Terry “Tex” Psarakis, whose 61st birthday is on November 27, turned back the clock when he played his first top-grade match in nine seasons on Saturday.
SPECIAL: Terry “Tex” Psarakis, whose 61st birthday is on November 27, turned back the clock when he played his first top-grade match in nine seasons on Saturday.

When Terry “Tex” Psarakis – all 60 years and “bone-on-bone” knee injury of him – bowled Old Boys No. 3 Abel Carney with a self-described left-arm “ordinary” delivery while playing for South Tamworth at Riverside 2 on Saturday, he and his much younger teammates exploded with joie de vivre, a cheerful enjoyment of life.

In that moment, the ailments that had kept Psarakis in retirement the past four years were seemingly subdued by rapture, as poor Abel Carney – one of Tamworth’s best batsmen – departed, having paid the price for rocking back and trying to blast the old timer back to 1975, the year he joined Souths after five top-grade seasons with Police Boys (now Old Boys).

He was lured out of retirement because he said Souths were “totally” short of numbers for the start of the two-day clash. It is his first top-grade match in nine seasons, after notching “close to 40 seasons” in the premier grade.

Put simply, what transpired under a baby blue sky on a glorious spring afternoon was wonderful, and one of the purest examples of the beauty of sport.

South Tamworth captain Mitch Smith recognised that. That’s why, when the players were leaving the field, he arranged for a photo to be taken of the team.

No one wants to get out to Psarakis. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives

Terry “Tex” Psarakis

Psarakis – a much-respected Tamworth identity and the chairman of the Central Northern Cricket Zone – said he was “very happy”.

“I enjoy the blokes, I enjoy South Tamworth Cricket Club and I just enjoy cricket,” he said, adding: “They’re a great mob of boys, so I really enjoy it. They’ll look after me. I’ll have a beer with them tonight. It will be great."

Bowling what he joked were “Greek” orthodox nudies, he finished the day with 1-3. His third and final over was a maiden. 

“There wasn’t much bounce in the wicket, which suited me,” he said, adding: “No one wants to get out to Psarakis. They’ll live with it the rest of their lives.”