In 1989 Wayne Dessaur averaged 85.90 for the 1stXI and his record stood for the 25 years despite the best efforts of some quite excellent performances by our batsmen over the years. But, this long-standing achievement has finally been bettered: Eben Kurtz this season has averaged a staggering 106 in 10 innings.
We have always recognised Eben’s ability to build an innings solidly and play delightful shots as an opening batsman, but, this season, he has added a new dimension to his game. Once settled he now has the ability to put any attack to the sword, as he showed in the later stages of his innings against the MCC, when he finished the game with two consecutive sixes, and in the 40 overs game against Nottingham High School. He is seen here on the right leaving the field at the end of the MCC match.
His season’s statistics are exceptional: he has scored four centuries in his 10 innings: 161 not out against Bromsgrove, 111 against RGS Worcester, 104 not out against the OLA and an outstanding 146 not out against the MCC, plus two half centuries. Garry Leeson still holds the record for the most centuries scored with 5 in the 1989 season in 16 innings.
His total of runs for the season is 848, which puts him sixth on our all-time list, but those above him scored their runs in more, and, in some cases, many more innings. The record for the most runs scored is still in the hands for Danny Reddyhough with 1041 runs in 19 innings during the 1996 season.
Interestingly, on the tour to Sri Lanka last summer, several high ranking Sri Lanka Cricket Board coaches commented very favourably on Eben’s ability and, as this season shows, they were not wrong!
We wish Eben all the best as he leaves us and will certainly follow his progress with great interest.