Milestones Aplenty

The weekend of November 2 and 3 was full of milestones, with Rob Aitken, James Aitken and James Campbell all passing significant career landmarks.

Rob Aitken


On Saturday, in the run-chase against Sydney University, Rob entered rarefied air, becoming only the third player in the long history of Sydney Grade / NSW Premier Cricket to score over 11,000 runs and take over 500 wickets. Rob joined Tommy Andrews and Grant Lambert in this elite club. 

Rob’s figures make for mind-boggling reading. He amassed his 11,000th run at an average touching 30 with eight hundreds and a remarkable 58 half centuries. Rob now sits twelfth on the list of all time run-scorers in first grade (behind another Bear and current Manly coach, Phil Marks). Rob has scored over 7,500 of his runs for UTS North Sydney.

With the ball Rob has 582 first grade wickets at an average of 26.94 with 13 career 5-fors. Rob has taken 372 of these wickets for UTS North Sydney, placing him sixth on the club’s all-time first grade wicket-takers list behind such names as Emery, K. Spring, Hopkins, Callaghan and Shelton.

One of the more remarkable elements of Rob’s career is his longevity. Rob made his first grade debut in the season of 1992/93 at the age of 17. To put this in context, only three of Rob’s teammates on Saturday were born when he made his debut and, of those, only his brother, James, was able to walk.

Rob won the O’Reilly Medal in 2000/01 and the Michael Bevan Medal in 2012/13 while helping the club to its fifth limited overs premiership. Rob’s storied career continues this week as he strives to help his side claim outright points over Sydney Uni.

James Aitken

J Aitken Ctown

James took to the field for his 250th first grade game for the Bears on Saturday, a remarkable achievement. This is James’ 24th first grade season (and 28th grade cricket season overall), showing that career longevity runs in the family.

James has amassed 7,577 first grade runs at an average of 26.13 with seven centuries and 38 fifties. Almost 6,000 of these runs have come since James joined the Bears in 2002/03. To complement his batting, in recent years James has added canny medium-pacers to his arsenal and was instrumental in bowling Sydney University out cheaply on Saturday.

James is an unwaveringly competitive cricketer who now sits on the verge of the club’s top 10 first grade run-scorers of all time. He is also in the top 90 first grade run scorers in Sydney Grade / NSW Premier Cricket’s long history.

James Campbell

Campbell 5th wkt 1

In Sunday’s T20 against Manly-Warringah, Jimmy joined the 200 first grade wicket club. Jimmy is just the 20th Bear to take 200 first grade wickets for the club, placing his name amongst such doyens as Vic Emery, Ken Spring, Rob and Glenn Aitken and Bevyn White.

A Bear to his bootstraps, James has played for the club for as long as he has owned whites, coming through our juniors to make his AW Green Shield debut in 2006/07.

James took 9 wickets in the final of the Bears’ storied 2010/11 second grade premiership (achieved by reverse outright over rivals, Gordon). The following season he made his first grade debut.

James has taken his 201 first grade wickets for the club at an average of 27.80 with seven 5-fors. In the past two seasons Jimmy has been particularly deadly, claiming 56 wickets at under 22.

Pictures courtesy of Tony Johnson