Walter John Scholes
January 05, 1950, East Brunswick, Victoria
July 14, 2003, Eltham, Melbourne, Victoria, (aged 53y 190d)
Right hand Bat
Cricket came to Walter John Scholes very early - the Oxford Companion of Australian Cricketers calls him "a cricket addict from the age of nine." It's not surprising then, that the short, thickset allrounder from East Brunswick, Melbourne had a brilliant run in schools cricket. He led the Victorian under-15 team to victory in the Sydney carnival, while chalking up two centuries. He topped that off by scoring 100 runs and picking up 10 wickets in a game - becoming the only schoolboy ever, in Australian cricket, to achieve the feat.
Fast-tracked to bigger things, Scholes made his first-class debut for Victoria aged 18, in the 1968-69 season. Technical deficiencies against pace bowling of the highest quality and a lack of discipline meant that Scholes had to be content with 62 first-class appearances (3201 runs @ 30.78, three centuries, HS 156) without ever getting a taste of cricket at the highest level. Arthritis of the hip finally forced Scholes to bow out of first-class cricket, while he was still captain of the state side in 1981-82.
This, however, did not prevent him from enjoying a long and distinguished career in district-level cricket, where he served Carlton with distinction for over 20 years. In the course of this association, Scholes not only surpassed Jack Ryder's long-standing record of 338 matches, but also topped Ryder's tally of 12,667 runs at that level. While Scholes also played Australian Rules Football for North Melbourne, it is his contribution to Victoria cricket that he will be remembered by. As player, captain, selector and coach, he served Victoria well in an innings that spanned 31 years, and came to be hailed as one of Victoria's greatest cricketing sons.
Batting & Fielding