James Aitken plays 300th game in the top grade

IMG_6377 James Aitken

James Aitken brought up a remarkable milestone in week 1 of round 14’s fixture against Easts, taking the field for his 300th first grade game. James’ 300th match came more than 23 years on from his 1996 debut for Petersham-Marrickville, a phenomenal feat of sustained excellence.

James played one season in the top grade for Petersham-Marrickville, hitting a century in his seventh match at the age of only 19. He then moved to Parramatta for three seasons before joining the Bears for the 2002/03 season.

Since he joined the club, James has played 252 games in first grade, amassing over 6,300 runs to sit fifth on the all-time list for the Bears. He includes the 2012/13 first grade limited overs premiership as part of his impressive resume.

Overall, James has 7,577 first grade runs at 26.12 with seven centuries and 41 fifties. In 2017, James joined an exclusive list of players who have scored a first grade hundred after their 40th birthday, and an even smaller list of just 9 who have scored one before 20 and one after 40.


In recent seasons James has added canny medium pacers to his arsenal and has captured 44 first grade wickets at 35.16 (all for North Sydney), including 4/81 on Saturday. His bowling form this season has been remarkable, having taken 40 wickets at less than 14 across first and second grade.

James is a fierce competitor whose passion, work ethic and cricketing nous have seen him reach this rare landmark.

Images courtesy of Tony Johnson and David James