Proudly Sponsored by
Items : 0
Subtotal : $0.00
View CartCheck Out
Proudly Sponsored by
Items : 0
Subtotal : $0.00
View CartCheck Out

Waratahs in History – Nathan Dodd

This fortnight Howzat Building Waratahs in History Q & A is with Nathan Dodd. Nathan played 8 seasons for the Tahs from 1998/1999 to 2005/2006 scoring over 3000 runs for the club. Nathan moved into the world of coaching with his most recent position being the Senior Assistant/Batting coach for the Australian Intellectually Impaired men’s cricket team. The team competed in the Tri-Nations series in November 2023 losing to the “Poms” in the final.

How did your love of cricket come about as a child?

Like most guys I expect, playing in the backyard with your brother(s) and your dad.

Who were your cricket heroes growing up?

Brian Lara for his pure batsmanship and Justin Langer for his doggedness.
But also looked up to most guys playing for NSW as a kid.

Tell us a bit about your junior journey on your way to playing at Manly?

I grew up in Lismore and via an underage rep tour to the UK I met David Patterson who then asked if I’d be interested in coming to Manly to play.
I came down as soon as I finished year 12 and loved learning how to play cricket at this level and representing the area in the weekly shoot out that is grade/premier cricket in Sydney.

You debuted for the Waratahs in 98/99 at the age of 18. What do you remember about your grade debut?

I came to Sydney on the Monday and went to my first training session on the Wednesday, which was a big deal for a country kid who knew very little about Sydney.
It was halfway through the season and I was selected in 4th grade under the captaincy of Rusty Pearce who was really good to me.
Other players like Josh Peterson and Forrester Leahy certainly showed me that the game was played differently here.

Who were some of the well-known cricketers who you came through the system with, and who was the best player coming through the Manly ranks during your juniors?

Whilst I didn’t play juniors for Manly I joined the club when I was only 18 and went through the PG’s system.
The best player was Tim Cruickshank and we all know what he went on to achieve at the club. Tim always appeared to have so much time to decide what shot to play and most of the time he decided on the right one to play.

Who helped you the most throughout those initial years starting out in Grade cricket at Manly?

There were a lot of people that helped me, but Jamie Heath was the one that helped me the most settle into the club, learn to play at this level but also settle in to the city.
Heathy became (and still is) like an older brother to me

What are your memories of the club in the early and mid-2000’s as you were coming through the grades? Both on and off the field?

The first few seasons I played we won 2 club championships and I thought that was the norm, however years later when coaching in grade/premier cricket in Brisbane I realised it wasn’t.
We were strong right throughout the grades with incredible depth, I sense it is similar to how it is now at the club.
I recall being a little starstruck, and at times overwhelmed, in playing with guys who’s names I would have only seen in the newspaper (no social media in those days or internet on phones etc) or in columns about the shield team.
But I always remember loving being at the games or at training and being surrounded by the people I knew as to me Sydney was such a big place for a young guy from Lismore.

Your top score was 168 in 2003/2004, what do you remember about that innings?

It was in a second grade game against Parramatta. I remember batting up until about an hour to go, as I wasn’t the fastest scorer, and got run out backing up at the non-strikers end.

What do you think your strength was as a cricketer?

Determination and willingness to learn.
I reckon you can find always fine some gold nuggets if you’re open to learning from anyone.

Do you remember your first grade/other grade debut?

Very well. We played a very strong Bankstown side out there and fielded for a day and the first session of day 2.
I came out to bat at number three facing Wayne Holdsworth. I took centre looked around the field, tapped my bat twice, looked up and he was already into his action.
The ball swung back and hit me on the pads and I barely moved. Golden duck.
Fair to say I got the old ‘Welcome to first grade son’ from some of their senior players.

What do you consider the best innings from yourself?

Probably a second innings in saving a game against Balmain or Sydney CC as they are now at Drummoyne, rather than a high score innings.
We got bowled out for not many in the first innings and they had a strong attack and came hard at us in the second innings where we were 8 down in the end.
I think I only scored 60 odd but it was satisfying as we were up against it in that game.

Who was the best player at Manly that you played with?

Really difficult question as there were so many good players when I was there but based on skilfulness (and I am biased towards batters) I would have to say Mathew Phelps.

Who drove the standards at the club during your playing time?

I believe there were multiple people, on field, that drove the standards and culture. In first grade at the time, it was Shawn Bradstreet, Craig Glassock, Jamie Heath, Matt Phelps and Mark McInnes but also guys throughout the club such as Simon Waddington, Loose Cranney, Parko and Warren Evans and David Ford to name just a few.
Off field there was Andrew Fraser, Bob Brenner, Gordon Curry, Mike Pawley, Langdon Gould and also Michael (Juice) Shepheard who drove it from that angle.

Who was the best Captain you played with and why?

All of my captains at Manly were good and had different strengths, but Craig Glassock was probably the best. His tactical knowledge was so high, and I learnt so much from him.
He was also probably a bit ahead of his time in the way he communicated as a captain to players, coaches and administrators.

Who was someone that you loved to captain that you loved seeing succeed?

I never told him this at the time (and probably should have), but I really liked seeing Dicky Fry do well. He was very resilient player and I guess I only started to genuinely respect his longevity as I got older myself.

What is the best innings you saw at Manly from a fellow player?

Phelpsy scored a big hundred one day at Manly against Sutherland I think which I thought was an amazing innings.
He was one of those teammates I was a little starstruck by, as even though he also grew up in Lismore he was a bit older than me so I didn’t know him until I went to Manly.
In another era I am confident he could well have went on to play at the highest level.

Who was the funniest player you played with at Manly and why? Do you have any clean stories you could share with us?

I think most guys were funny in their own way, but probably Sully was the funniest.
Some of the things he’d say and do I still chuckle to myself about today. Honourable mention to John Warn.

Best Nick Name?

Wazza or Trunk

What does your life involve now, and do you keep abreast of how the Waratahs are faring?

Have been living on the Sunshine Coast for 13 years now and cricket wise have been involved in coaching a lot in recent years.
I have been lucky enough to work in a few other men’s and women’s state squads and also some short term roles in overseas programs and franchise league tournaments.
I am also one of the senior coaches of the Australian Intellectual Disability Team and we recently completed a tri series against England and South Africa in Pretoria.
It’s a great job that falls under Cricket Australia’s portfolio of teams and is really enjoyable and rewarding.

Do you ever see yourself getting back involved in the club in the future?

I’d certainly like to in some form if asked and where possible.
Living interstate presents its challenges but the people at Manly taught me so much about the game (and life) and I feel very fortunate to have played there when I did.

What are some of your predictions for Manly in 2023 /2024?

No doubt lost some skill and experience with SOK and Mickey Edwards moving on, but Manly always seem to continually evolve with playing strength and I envisage them to be up there challenging at the business end of the season.