In 1988 when the wicket-keeper Gavan “Dutchy” Holland joined the Richmond Cricket Club, after playing 3 senior games with the North Melb/Geelong combine, officials were hoping they had found the answer to a problem they had, that of not being able to establish a wicket- keeper for the long term.
The regular Tiger keepers from 1934 to 1986 were a virtual line of succession, and that position in the team was never a problem. From Harry Mathers in 1934 through to Bob Shearer, David Cowper and on to Phillip Hyde in 1986, the area behind the stumps at Punt Road was covered by some of cricket’s finest.
After two seasons of trial and error with other players, Gavan Holland walked in and stamped his name as the Tiger’s regular wicket-keeper. Not only did he solve a short term problem, he went on to play 224 excellent senior games for Richmond, over the next 14 years.
“Dutchy” made the club and the position his own, he gave his all on the field in good or bad conditions, in times when the club was struggling, as well as when the Richmond Cricket Club were highly successful. Off the field he was recognised by his peers to be the ultimate clubman, and was awarded the official best clubman honour in 1993-94.
He worked well with his bowlers and together they sent 486 opposition batsmen on their way. For the Tigers he holds three wicket-keeping records, those of:
– The Most Victims in a Season, 51 ct, in 1999-2000;
– The Most Victims in an Innings, 7 ct, vs Camberwell Magpies 1997-98; and
– The Most Victims in a Match, 10ct, vs Camberwell Magpies 1997-98.