THE AJAX Maccabi Cricket Club will honor two of its stalwarts at an upcoming event, with celebrations for Barry Kave’s legendary 50th playing season helping raise funds for ex-club president Paul Fink (pictured, with wife Lauren) to assist in his recovery from a severe stroke last year.
A modest man by reputation, Kave only agreed to the tribute event in order help his friend, former teammate and co-manager for the Australian cricket team at the 2005 Maccabiah.
“I’ve known him through his whole time at the club, from player to president,” Kave told <I>The AJN<P>.
“Paul was a real gutsy batsman, bowler. He was a gutsy player and that’s exactly how he leads his life. Now he’s fighting a real fight and showing amazing determination.”
AJAX Maccabi Cricket Club vice-president Joel Beebe acknowledged Fink as one of their “great clubmen” and said there’s been an “outpouring of support” for the man who presided over the club from 2004-07.
“The outpouring of support is a testament to how well liked Paul is around the club and in the broader community,” Beebe said.
“We wanted to also mark Barry’s 50th season, which is an astonishing achievement, and knew that he wouldn’t want to be in the limelight. But when he was approached in regards to using it as a fundraiser for Paul, he jumped at the opportunity.”
The evening’s sombre note won’t take much away from Kave’s remarkable achievement.
In 1965, an eager 15-year-old spin-bowler made his debut for AJAX. In the five decades since he’s played in a First XI grand final and a Second XI premiership, captained the Thirds ’91 premiers and played alongside three generations of Jewish cricketers.
“That [Thirds premiership] was probably the biggest highlight because my eldest son Daniel was also playing and we were batting together when we won,” Kave said.
“When I came into bat we were 8/78 chasing about 110 on the last day of a four-day game and we were in big trouble. So it was up to us and we made it, which was a big thrill.”
A lot has changed around Kave, but he says one thing has stayed the same: “The guys I play with will say I’ve never spun the ball in 50 years, but I still bowl exactly the same.”
Kave has taken more than 800 wickets, good enough for second all-time on the combined AJAX/Maccabi cricket clubs. But Beebe says Kave offers so much more.
“Barry is a great mentor to a lot of the younger players coming through the ranks,” he said.
“His knowledge of cricket is remarkable … I think it’s a credit to him and his competitive spirit that he still enjoys coming out and playing every week, and then relate to a range of age groups all with the common focus of playing and enjoying cricket.”
Pictured: Paul Fink and his wife Lauren