Westies bring back the baggy purple

TRADITION: The West Augusta Cricket Cub A Grade side were presented with the coveted baggy purple in round one of the 2017/18 season.
TRADITION: The West Augusta Cricket Cub A Grade side were presented with the coveted baggy purple in round one of the 2017/18 season.

At first glimpse one would be forgiven for not seeing an immediate similarity between the Australian national cricket team and the West Augusta A Grade side.

But upon further inspection there is one distinct point of resemblance.

It may be a different colour, but the West Augusta Cricket Club’s baggy purple is manufactured by the same company as the famous baggy green – and it certainly carries the same premise. 

As the oldest cricket club in Port Augusta, President Greg Bailey said the initiative was inspired by the club’s earlier days. 

“The baggy purple was one of those things that was a very important part of the tradition of the club a long time ago and then only spasmodically would the club organise new baggy purples and so it sort of faded out,” Bailey said.

“West Augusta cricket club had a run of 10 premierships in 11 seasons — which is an amazing feat — but we were looking at the photos and nobody had the same team hats on, they all looked disjointed and didn't look professional.”

COVETED: The baggy purple can only be earned after playing 10 A Grade matches.

COVETED: The baggy purple can only be earned after playing 10 A Grade matches.

The baggy purple was presented in round one of 2017/18 season to the A grade side.

For anyone to receive a baggy purple from there on, they are required to play 10 A grade games in order to be eligible. 

“The people who have them, cherish them and the people who are playing in B grade or working towards the 10 games in A grade are very much keen to qualify. Its something that has got to be earned and we don’t want to just minimise it,” Bailey explained.

“I’ve coached junior cricket at Westies for over 10 years and its a wonderful privilege to see young men who I have coached through their junior grades now playing A grade and hanging onto the hat that means so much to them.”

Reinstating the baggy purple didn’t happen over night, purchasing the expensive cap required a large fundraising effort from the organising committee and behind every great man is a great woman.

“I would really like to acknowledge Caroline Blinman,” Bailey said.

“She did a lot of research, planning and assisting with the fundraising for this to happen so I would like to acknowledge her efforts in helping us get ready for that.”