WHEN Queanbeyan batsman Michael Frost made his ACT grade cricket debut in 1979, the Berlin Wall still stood, Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister and Blondie was top of the charts.
12-years-old at the time, Frost and younger brother Stephen were last minute fourth grade ring-ins – the next generation of Queanbeyan talent.
More than three decades on and this Saturday, Frost will mark the latest chapter in his extraordinary career when he leads Queanbeyan third grade out in what will be his 500th senior grade appearance.
It’s a milestone unmatched in the history of ACT Cricket and one that places Frost in select company in the history of the sport itself in Australia.
Over the course of his career, the hard-hitting opener has compiled 11,726 runs, nearly 8000 of which have come in first grade competition.
His total of 302 first grade matches is an unmatched benchmark in the ACT Cricket competition.
It’s a record that speaks to Frost’s passion for the game, competitive zeal and an enduring body, all of which have combined to keep him out on the field, one scorching summer after another.
“I still just love playing,” Frost said in the lead-up to Saturday’s match. “I still enjoy getting up on Saturday mornings and having a game, going out there and hitting a few fours and trying to score a few runs.
“I don’t think you could do it otherwise because you do have to sacrifice a lot when you play cricket. Time with your wife, with your kids or doing whatever else you could be doing instead of playing, it’s a big commitment but I still enjoy it so why would I want to give it up while I can still contribute?”
Over the course of more than three decades, it is only natural that Frost has collected his fair share of memories and anecdotes from his time out in the middle.
Like the time he represented Canberra against a full-strength Pakistan side featuring the likes of all-time greats Wasim Akram and Imran Khan.
Or the time he played against a NSW Second XI side featuring Steve Waugh, then waited around after the match to get an autograph from the Aussie great.
But in more recent years, Frost’s attentions have increasingly turned away from his own individual achievements to those of the club to which he has dedicated untallied hours of sweat and toil.
“I played a lot of rep games and won five first-grade premierships with Queanbeyan so there are a lot of great memories there,” he said. “But even on the weekend, we had a young fella score 92 not out to win as the game in third grade and that was just as exciting as any of that other stuff for me.
“You never like to lose but it gets to a point where if the club is going well, personnel success doesn't matter as much. You get a better handle on that as you get a bit older.”
Even so, with 500 games under his belt and seemingly little left to achieve in the game, just how many more innings he has left in the legs seems a reasonable question.
But with his 10-year-old son Sam currently working his way through Queanbeyan’s junior ranks, Frost said he were no plans to pack away the kitbag any time soon.
“My young fella is 10 now and he loves his cricket so it’d be nice to have a few grade games with him,” he said.
“Like I said, I still love playing and if the body holds up, I could play for another five or 10 years.”