Milestones for James Campbell and Olly Knight

IMG_6690 Manly 1st wk Edwards ct Lavelle b Campbell 23
IMG_4646 5th Campbell 13 5 5 40
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IMG_6524 Easts 4 runs
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IMG_0355 Penrith
IMG_7767 v Manly (2)
James Campbell appeal not out
1. James Campbell off the ground

In recent weeks, First Grade stalwarts James Campbell and Olly Knight notched up Premier Cricket career milestones, with James taking his 400th wicket in Round 10 and Olly scoring his 2,000th run in Round 9.

James Campbell made his Premier Cricket debut in the 2006-07 Green Shield season, after several seasons with our junior club – so he’s the epitome of a Bears lifer. It wasn’t the most auspicious first season, with two wickets at 55 apiece, but his fast bowling talent really began to shine through the following year with 12 poles at 16, and he hasn’t looked back. He rose quickly through the grades and spearheaded the Second Grade attack in the famous 2010-11 Grand Final “reverse outright” win over Gordon, taking 5/45 in the first innings.

His next match was his First Grade debut, where he took 6/63 against UNSW, cementing a place that he’s held practically ever since. Of James’s 400 wickets at 23.29, 265 have come in the top grade, making him the club’s tenth highest First Grade wicket-taker in history, having just overtaken Glenn Aitken. He’s taken five wickets in an innings 13 times for the club and eight times in First Grade with best bowling figures of 6/47 against Mosman in 2015-16. James has been particularly deadly since returning from injury 2017-18, taking 147 wickets in four and a half seasons, winning the Access RnD Bradman Medal for First Grade player of the year in 2017-18 and 2019-20 (joint with Matt Alexander) and being named in the Bears’ Team of the Decade.

IMG_4026 Mosman 4 runs
IMG_4248 Randwick Warner 4 runs
IMG_3997 Mosman
IMG_7174 East 6 runs
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Olly Knight joined the Bears in 2014-15 and made a match-winning 80 for Second Grade in the final round, leading to his First Grade debut the following season. A big-hitting all-rounder, Olly’s 2,057 runs for the Bears across all grades have included a mammoth 103 sixes on record (77 for First Grade), and probably more that haven’t been recorded – only just fewer than his 116 recorded fours. Ten of these came in an extraordinary 82 off 32 balls at Waverley in the 2019-20 Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup that will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it.

Remarkably, Olly started at the club primarily as a bowler and his 2,000 runs are ably complemented by his 162 Premier Cricket wickets and sure hands in the field.

Olly was the Frank Punch Second Grade Player of the Year in 2018-19 after his breakout innings with the bat, a career high of 117 against Northern District. He made 2s appearances as recently as last season, but this year has been a breakout one for him in First Grade. His 279 runs in nine Belvidere Cup appearances have come at an average of 55.8 and included three fifties. His 19 sixes put him second on the ladder across all clubs, just two behind Justin Avendano, but just as impressive has been his application and shot selection. We look forward to Olly bringing up his next 2,000 in double quick time!