UTS North Sydney's Team of the 2010s

Voting is now closed on the Bears’ first grade team of the decade. See below for the shortlist of 20 players and the team will be revealed mid- June. Players needed 20 caps and a minimum of 40 wickets or 1000 runs to automatically qualify for the shortlist. Additional role-specific specialists were included up to the maximum of 20.

All UTS North Sydney members and supporters ere all welcome to have their say in selecting the Team of the Decade.

Each voter could select their XI at their discretion and the votes were  tallied and calculated by an independent panel. Voters were encouraged to lean towards selecting a team to win two or three-day matches (to compete in finals) and only players’ performances for the Bears were to be considered. Shortlisted players were not grouped into categories as many performed multiple roles over the decade and voters could decide how the team can be best balanced.

The 2010s in brief

The Bears made six first grade finals series in the 2010s (two limited overs and four regular season), with two semi-finals appearances in 2011/12 and 2018/19, as well as winning the 2012/13 limited overs trophy. These finals appearances were stacked at the start and the end of the decade, three in the first three seasons and three in the last two seasons.

Three players earned selection in the NSW Premier Cricket team of the season (introduced in 2012/13), Adam Crosthwaite and Tom Jagot in 2018/19, and Matt Alexander in 2019/20.

The Players

Click on the links below for each player's statistics and a short profile.

Rob AitkenJames AitkenGlenn AitkenScott Rodgie
David GuthrieNic BillsDaniel HughesJay Lenton
James CampbellJustin AvendanoKurt NeelyJaik Mickleburgh
Tom JagotBen BryantOliver KnightAnjan Oberai
Toby LesterMatt AlexanderJames CrosthwaiteAdam Crosthwaite

Rob Aitken

One of only two men in the history of Sydney Grade Cricket to score 11,000 runs and take 600 wickets, and the holder of the first grade games record, Robbie is a remarkable cricketer. A stalwart of the side throughout the decade, he scored the second most runs and took the second most wickets for the Bears during the 2010s. His unorthodox finger-spin is perennially hard to decipher, and with it he claimed 5/17, the Michael Bevan Medal and the first grade limited overs premiership in the 2012/13 grand final.

Aitken R v2

James Aitken

James started the decade as a rock of the team’s middle-order and ended it tying opposition batsmen in knots with his canny seamers. His consistent batting performance made him one of only five to compile 2000 runs in the decade, and also lifted him to 5th in the club’s all-time first grade run-scorers. In scoring 113 not out against Hawkesbury in 2017/18, James became one of only 9 players in the competition’s history to score a hundred both before their 20th birthday, and after their 40th.

Aitken J

Glenn Aitken

Glenn captained the team during the early part of the decade and again in the middle, and was one of only two players to take 100 wickets and score 1000 runs during the 2010s. A fine off-spinner who sits 10th on the Bears’ all-time first grade wicket-takers list, Glenn also played important roles with the bat. His rapid scoring at the top of the order was a major reason the team claimed the limited overs premiership in 2012/13, and included a game-high 86 in the low-scoring grand final.

Aitken G

Scott Rodgie

The first grade captain from 2012/13 to 2014/15, Scott’s powerful batting and heavy seamers were crucial to the side in the first half of the decade. Scott sits 13th on the club’s all-time first grade run-scorers’ list. Against Sutherland in 2011/12 he claimed the critical wickets of Nick Maddinson and Phil Jaques before setting up the challenging chase of 223 with a blistering 62 from 49 balls – securing victory against a side stacked with three former and future internationals.

Rodgie

David Guthrie

A right-arm quick with genuine pace, Dave was a key component of the attack through the beginning and middle of the decade. Dave destroyed Blacktown in 2010/11, claiming 7/51 in a dominant performance. He was also a powerful batsman, particularly over the off side. His undefeated 49 from number 10 in the 2012/13 limited overs semi-final lifted the team’s total to a defendable 232, from a very rocky 8/141.

Guthrie

Nic Bills

Nic’s 167 wickets at a tick over 20 runs apiece speak for themselves. He was the team’s spearhead for the first four seasons of the decade and produced a number of dominant performances. A 10 wicket match (including 6/17) against Sutherland in 2010/11 to secure an outright, 6/29 against Penrith in 2013/14, and 5/60 in a tough semi-final loss to Sydney Uni in 2011/12 all speak to his skill and pace. He also struck four fifties in the top grade, including an undefeated 96 in a club-record last wicket partnership with James Campbell against Bankstown in 2012/13.

Bills

Daniel Hughes

A left-hander of peerless grace, Daniel controlled Bears’ innings from the top of the order for the first three seasons of the 2010s. Daniel had a habit of posting big scores when other batsmen could not find their feet. In 2011/12 he struck 125 against Sydney to set up a win in a match where no other bat, including three others who represented their state, passed 50. In 2010/11, he also pillaged Blacktown for 174 after they had been routed for just 91 in the morning session.

Hughes

Jay Lenton

Jay was the team’s rock behind the stumps for the first four seasons of the decade. A sublime gloveman and a skilled bat, Jay claimed twice as many dismissals and scored almost 500 runs more than any other keeper for the Bears in the 2010s. Jay’s 88 against Penrith in 2013/14 set up a total of 301, which proved 215 too many for the opposition.

Lenton

James Campbell

James is a career Bear from juniors onwards, and has been a mainstay of the side through much of the decade. James has evolved from a tear-away to a skilful practitioner of pace bowling, and his 221 wickets (all claimed in the 2010s and more than any other bowler for the club in the decade) sees him sit 18th on the club’s all-time first grade wicket-takers list. James’ 5/40 in Hawkesbury’s second innings in 2019 allowed the Bears to claim an outright victory that proved crucial in the race for finals.

Campbell v2

Justin Avendano

First grade captain since 2016/17, Justin has scored more runs than anyone else for the Bears in the 2010s. Justin now sits 17th on the Bears all-time first grade run-scorers list. A punishing right-handed bat, Justin has played a slew of remarkable innings for the club. His 176 against Manly-Warringah in in 2016/17 was part of a club-record, 303-run third wicket partnership with Anjan Oberai, and formed the backbone of a monumental chase of 444. His finest innings was an undefeated 143 against Penrith in 2018/19’s semi-final that allowed his team a chance in a rain-shortened match.

Avendano

Kurt Neely

After coming to the club from Newcastle during the 2012/13 season, Kurt established himself in the first grade side the following season. A sound gloveman and bat capable of opening the innings, Kurt was also a steadying dressing-room influence. His 94 against Hawkesbury in 2014/15 set up an impregnable total of 367 which proved well out of the opposition’s reach.

Neely

Jaik Mickleburgh

Jaik scored a mountain of runs, and skippered the side, during his two-season stint as overseas pro in the middle of the decade. Capable of batting anywhere in the top 4, 12 of his 24 innings for the club were in excess of 50. His first class experience showed during his stay, culminating in an unbeaten 142 (from 138 balls) against Wests in 2014/15 which saw the team canter to victory chasing 356.

Mickleburgh

Tom Jagot

Since becoming a Bear in 2015/16, Tom has gone from strength to strength. A master of technique and focus, Tom has notched up hundreds in each of the of the past four seasons, including 3 in 2018/19. His form that season saw him finish joint runner-up in the O’Reilly Medal, and included innings such as an undefeated 125 against Sydney as he and Adam Crosthwaite shared a club-record fourth wicket partnership of 261 and chased down 380. He followed it up with another 130 as the Bears piled 348 against Parramatta in a one-dayer two rounds later.

Jagot

Ben Bryant

Ben joined the club in 2016 and has been a reliable performer with the bat. Ben moved to the top of the order in 2017/18 and his class showed in 2019/20, collecting 449 runs at over 40 and forming a formidable opening partnership with Jack James. Ben struck his maiden century against Mosman in round three as he and Jack put on 193 for the first wicket.

Bryant

Oliver Knight

Olly provides value with both his right-arm seamers, and big-hitting left-handed strokeplay. In a 2019/20 T20 against Easts he set up a mammoth total of 225 by smiting 82 from 32 balls (including a scarcely believable 10 sixes) before applying the choke-hold with the ball, claiming 1/22 from his four overs. Olly also helped see the team to safety against the same opposition in a two-dayer later in the season, scoring a mature 55.

Knight

Anjan Oberai

Anjan was part of the team for two seasons in the middle of the decade. A solid opening bat, when Anjan got in, he went big. His undefeated 166 against Manly in 2016/17 was one half of the club’s record third wicket partnership. The next season he bested this effort with a remarkable 184 against Fairfield-Liverpool to chase down a challenging total of 284 against an attack that included five players with state experience.

Oberai

Toby Lester

Toby’s sharp left-arm pace made him a valuable weapon during his three-season stint as the club’s overseas pro. Even when not in the wickets, Toby applied constant pressure to opposition batting line-ups with unerring accuracy and skilful reverse swing. His 5/75 against Bankstown in 2016/17 halted what was an otherwise free-wheeling innings, giving his side a chance at taking the points.

Lester

Matt Alexander

Matt’s rapid, left-arm pace has proven a handful for opposition bats during his two seasons a at the Bears. Matt’s 48 wickets led all comers in first grade in 2019/20 and earned him selection in the NSW Premier Cricket team of the season. In round one of 2019/20 against a strong Bankstown line-up, Matt collected a club limited-overs record of 7/38. The figures were also the 10th best in the competition’s history, and the best for the club against Bankstown (besting Glenn Aitken’s 7/66).

Alexander

James Crosthwaite

While only at the Bears for a single season, James’s athletic glovework and dangerous batting was an integral part of the side’s run to the 2018/19 semi-final. James’ lateral quickness often rendered first slip a bystander and his batting was destructive. In the semi-final against Penrith, he and Justin Avendano set up the declaration in a rain-affected match with a withering assault. James’ undefeated 45 came from just 21 balls to help give his team a sniff at victory.

Crosthwaite J

Adam Crosthwaite

Adam played only one season at the Bears, but it was truly remarkable. Adam collected five centuries in the season to finish joint runner-up in the O’Reilly Medal with Tom. Only Scott Hookey in 1994/95 has compiled more runs in a season for the club. It is hard to pick a standout innings, however his undefeated 126 against Blacktown in round one (his first appearance for the Bears) saw the team home in a tough chase on a day where only he and Jordan Gauci got past 50.

Crosthwaite A