Reverend Peter Nelson, 71, reaches 300-game milestone for North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club

This is a triple century of the very highest order.

Reverend Peter Nelson brought up his 300th game for the North Canberra Gungahlin Cricket Club on Saturday in the fifth grade grand final against Wests/UC at Kippax.

Reverend Peter Nelson, 71, played his 300th game for North Canberra Gungahlin in Saturday's fifth grade final.
Reverend Peter Nelson, 71, played his 300th game for North Canberra Gungahlin in Saturday's fifth grade final.  Photo: Matt Bedford

The final was an absolute thriller, with Wests/UC winning on the last ball.

But that's only half the story. Nelson is 71.

Forget about the embarrassment of England being bundled out of the World Cup and superstars making millions in the Indian Premier League, this is what the game is really about - playing for the love of it.

For the simple enjoyment of hitting boundaries, taking wickets and winning games with your mates.


The word legend gets tossed around easily, but that's what Nelson is at Norths.

Since arriving from Melbourne in 1989, he's played from second to fifth grade, is a life member and runs the nets for the club's training sessions.

He's conducted weddings for Norths players, played for the ACT over-60s and is affectionately known as The Rev in ACT cricket circles.

Some of his teammates are as young as 13, but it's not the quick singles which bother him.

"The singles are not a problem, it's when you're running three and four," Nelson said with a laugh.

"Then they can lap you.

"What you lose in speed, you pick up in anticipation and experience."

Nelson is retired,but is still involved with the Canberra Aboriginal Church and the Canberra Austral-Asian Christian Church.

He is also the chaplain at the AIS, assisting the Australian Olympic Team at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

"I've learnt a lot from the other sports at the AIS," Nelson said.

"The commitment that athletes have, the ever-present fear of injury that could derail their careers, their desire to represent their country and their commitment to training day in and day out.

"It's a very hard road to the top."

But cricket has always been his true sporting love.

Growing up in Launceston, Nelson was picked to play the West Indies in a tour match in 1970but didn't find out until it was too late.

"The message got scrambled and there were no mobile phones in those days," Nelson recalled.

"As a result, the selector was a bit upset so he chose somebody else."

Nelson has scaled back how much he plays, but still helps out when he can.

"God willing and I'm healthy, I'll still play," Nelson said.

"I'm still interested in the younger players and their development at the club.

"I'm part-time at everything. I'm like Polyfilla, I just fit in where there are gaps."