FORMER teammates and club officials have paid tribute to Queanbeyan stalwart Michael Frost on the verge of his historic 500th match in the ACT grade cricket competition.
Bluebags champion Mark Higgs began his first grade career playing alongside Frost in the early 1990s and praised his fellow veteran’s commitment to the club over more than three decades.
“Frosty’s been a terrific servant for the club, as a player, an administrator and as a guy who other players can learn from,” Higgs said.
“I started playing with him in first grade in the early 90s and he was good for me as a kid coming through, he was always able to give me plenty of tips.”
Frost’s arrival in first grade in 1985/86 coincided with a golden era for the club with Queanbeyan going on to win five premierships in the next seven years.
Mark Thornton was first grade player/coach during the side’s run of three consecutive titles between 1985/86 and 1988/89.
“When I started Michael had just come in to first grade and was batting down at number eight,” Thornton recalled. “I was opening at the time and basically swapped around with him in the order and he never looked back.
“He always had a bit of talent and the good thing about him was he wasn’t scared to have a go. He was a bit like [David] Warner is these days, if the ball was there he’d have a crack.
“It didn’t always come off but when it did it was demoralising for the opposition to see good balls getting smacked back over their heads.”
It was during Thornton’s time at Queanbeyan that the Bluebags would rewrite the record books in the side’s 1985/86 semi-final win over Ginninderra.
The Bluebags mammoth total of 728 in that game still stands as an ACT Cricket record, with a young Frost blasting his way to what remains his highest ever score of 164.
“It was 27 years ago when we started playing together and for Michael to have that longevity to keep carrying on and turning up every week since then is an amazing achievement,” Thornton said.
In more recent years, Frost has continued to represent the club with distinction in the lower grades and as a junior coach.
And club president Peter Solway said Frost’s continued involvement with the club after more than 30 years of loyal service on and off the pitch was testament to his passion for the game and his beloved Bluebags.
“It just shows how much Frosty loves the game of cricket and how much he loves the club and the people he plays with,” Solway said. “The competitive edge still burns with Frosty, as it does in a few of the older blokes around the club and hopefully that’s something we can pass on to the next generation.”