AIC First XI Cricket 2023 Team of the Season revealed

Who made our AIC First XI Cricket Team of the Season? It includes four batsmen from Ashgrove, Paddies, Iona and Villa, who produced Marnus Labuschagne-like runs.

Queensland’s top schoolboy batsman Steve Hogan was the first player we picked for our AIC First XI Team of the Season but even his performances couldn’t compare to those of Villanova College’s Finn Thallon, Iona’s Harley Malpass and Marist’s William Nickelson keep up.

An avalanche of runs was scored this season in AIC competition by Hogan, Thallon, Malpass, William Nickelson and Zayne Thomas filling the top five in batting order.



Thomas and Malpass, of course, rewrote the record books with an unbeaten partnership of 317 runs, with Thomas amassing the competition’s highest score, 252 not out.

And the bowling offense in our Team of the Season was spearheaded by Louis Morris (Ashgrove) and St. Peters Lutheran College Sree Bachu, who led the Saints to their best result of the season.

The best all-rounder in the competition had to be Padua College’s Braithyn Pecic, who kept wickets, opened the batting and opened the bowling with his off-spin.

Now that’s a serious all-rounder. He’s also rumored to have made the lunch sandwiches and served the referees tea at half-time.

The selection of three other all-rounders, Sree Bachu from St Peters, Tom Rieck (Villa) and Will Tozer from Padua gave our team a great batting and bowling balance.

Paddies’ star hitter Hogan was worshiped with the blade, but his off-spin also brings bowling depth to our team.





The most prolific wicket-taker of the competition was Marist College Ashgrove off-spinner Louis Morris, while St Peters pair Ashish Neredumilli and Matt Harvie also weave a web of intrigue around the batsmen. St. Patrick’s Matt Pereira also played his way into our 12.


Zayne Thomas (Iona)

Stylish Thomas has set a benchmark this season that no one has matched in Cooee — a season-high 252 that’s not out. With a keen eye and reflexes that were once put to good use on the tennis court, Thomas was also arguably the most elegant player in the competition.

Harley Malpass (Iona)

He batted against No. 3 but we made the decision to put the top five batsmen in the front five batting positions and put glove man Braithyn Pecic (Padua) on the bottom row. Malpass and Thomas know each other from back to front anyway and would open up with ease. Who would believe that a hitter could average 107.25 all summer long (Will Nickelson) and not beat the averages. Yet malpass average, whatever, 129.33. Amazing numbers. He also took 12 wickets at 14 with moderate pace.

William NickelsonAshgrove

In a summer of centuries, Nickelson hit two of those — and two more 50s — and hit 429 runs at 107.25. “I knew he was a good player but not in that amount (of runs),” said Ashgrove coach Michael Abbott. “He’s been phenomenal all season. At GPS I’ve only seen Ben Maynard play at this level. He struck out three centuries for IGS. Nothing else, I haven’t seen anything like this before. He has plenty of time. He’s a good player, I think he’ll continue and play a lot in first grade.

Steve Hogan (St Patrick’s College)

At just 15, Hogan is the team’s baby, but he was the first player we picked. Hogan, who got his first century in First XI cricket last year as a ninth-year pupil – was a running machine in every form of cricket he took part in – AIC Firsts, Lord Taverners under-16s and senior grades (both for Sandgate- Redcliffe). He accumulated more than 2000 runs. For Paddies, he hit 297 runs at 49.50.

Finn Thallon (Villanova College)

Finn, Ben Thallon’s younger brother, was a revelation. Thallon’s batting average of 79 carries per 100 balls was one of the best in the competition and his unbeaten century was rich reward for the Villa community, who were just a fingernail away from contending for the Premier League. Overall, he scored 276 runs on 92 after batting for 540 minutes in the summer.

Will Tozer (College of Padua)

The veteran contender had another fine season with bat and ball, embellished with another fine innings on Saturday. Yes, he may have wanted to score for a century, but he was still one of the most famous wickets in the competition. He took 13 wickets at 18 and hit 263 runs with the stick at 52.60.

Sree Bachu (St Peters)

Bachu ran down a few dry ravines during his stint with the St. Peters’ Firsts, but he and Matt Harvie have led their team to an oasis this season. Whether it was with the bat or the ball, Bachu was always in the game and it must have been a pleasure to see Saints actually say the words “Premiership Conflict” towards the end of the season. He took seven wickets at 24.57 and scored 151 at 25.

Braithyn Pecic (College of Padova)

The Padua captain went into the season hardened, having made his international debut for Serbia as a youngster in the winning European Cricket League side last year. He was a Mr Fix-it for Padua and set an example, opening with both bat and ball – before returning to his role behind the stumps. He was really a player and a half for Padua.

Tom Rieck Villanova

Villa captain Tom Rieck, a veteran fighter with three years of First XI experience, worked his way into the hotly contested 12 after leading his team with 12 wickets on 18 and 150 runs on 30 by example.

Matt Harvie (St Peters)

Leg spinner Harvie went into the season full of confidence, having endured the rigors of First XI cricket last season – and then taking a truckload of wickets for South Brisbane at the Lord Taverners under-16s. He finished with 13 runs at a 13 average.

Louis Morris (Ashgrove)

Off-spinner Morris was Malpass, Nickelson and Hogan rolled into one when it came to bowling. Opposing teams just couldn’t get rid of his spin and if they attacked they risked being sacked. Would you believe his strangling bowler was conceding just 1.48 runs per over? It was amazing stuff. The competition’s leading bowler took 18 wickets

Matt Pereira (St Patrick’s College)

With a pace bowl that reminds us of an old English county cricket pro, he went to work this season without fanfare.

13. Man Tom Stenhouse (St Laurence’s College)

We would have liked to have placed him in our 12 after he’s hit 247 runs on 49, but I’m sure he won’t be disappointed to be our official 13th man this summer given the quality of hitting.

Hats off too

+ Adam Richter (Iona College) nearly made our team of the season with a dynamic new and old ball contribution in last Saturday’s game against St. Patrick’s. His medium pace fired the first three batsmen cheaply, and then he returned late in the innings to claim a fourth wicket.

+ St. Lawrence Daniel Gray (St. Laurence’s), who was about to be selected. Gray was hitting time and making runs and was one of the most consistent players in the competition.

Laurie’s trio Xavier Santos (185 at 30 and eight wickets at 25) and Mackenzie Douglas (10 wickets at 15) were other quality players who would not have been out of place, with Santos giving his all until last weekend.

+ Iona opener Liam Johns was seriously considered for his supporting role at the head of the Order around Malpass and Thomas

+ Ashish Neredumilli (St Peters) was a revelation as his medium pace complemented the Saints’ attack led by Bachu and Harvie. He was both frugal and a wicket-taker, with 11 at 2.42 adorning his summer.

+ Eddie’s captain Ben Naisch who has not given up either bat or ball. Naish was of course recognized in our Unsung Heroes of Contest History last week.

+ St. Peter Luke Dyer was another desperate close to selection

+ Zac Joyce (Villanova): Joyce was a little bit of everything for Villa, taking wickets and making runs.

+ Joey Laner and Sam Lewis (Aschhain). Laner recorded an exceptional 5-8 in Ashgrove’s Premier League win over Eddies last Saturday, resting his season average at 20 with an impressive 11 wickets. Lewis was not sung and won 10 wickets at 7.40pm.

Originally published as AIC First XI Cricket Team of the Season Revealed AIC First XI Cricket 2023 Team of the Season revealed

Chris Estrada

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