Cricket founder pulls up stumps for important family role
CRICKET: After playing cricket for 35 years, Mike Nowlan has accepted he won't take to the crease again.
Nowlan, 69, has two worthy reasons for putting down the bat and ball after helping to establish the Lockyer Veterans Cricket Association.
He said it was time to focus on his health, and his wife's health, who he provides full-time care for.
"Earlier this month I came to the conclusion I would have to quit," he said.
"If I continued, I'd do more injuries and Lynn is my priority."
Nowlan said snapping a bicep tendon in March was an indicator it was time to step aside.
His last game with the Lockyer Veterans was about two weeks ago in Maroochydore, where he partnered with the captain to open the bowling.
During the game, he injured his other shoulder which cemented his decision to retire.
Stepping away from the crease does not mean Nowlan's passion for cricket will disappear.
He will retain his position as Lockyer Veterans president, continue his administration duties and editor role for the Queensland Veterans Cricket Inc Magazine.
This year, he helped facilitate a merger with Lockyer and Ipswich veterans clubs.
"No matter where I've been, I've played cricket," Nowlan said.
"It's been a part of my life. I'm not a good cricketer, but I'm passionate about it and I always turn up to play."
Having conquered suicidal depression, Nowlan said was vital for people to have an outlet, especially those in full-time carer positions.
"Carers who have a full-time responsibility really need to think about looking after themselves and having refuel periods," he said.
"You've got to have something that takes you out. When I go to cricket, I enjoy the camaraderie, even if I don't get onto the field.
"I have my vegie garden too, but Lynn just yells out if she needs me."
Having cricket as an outlet has allowed Nowlan to travel with his beloved sport team, including to two veterans national squads, representing Queensland.
It was in a game against Queensland he recalls his cricketing highlight.
After a rotation sidelined him for a game, the skipper told Nowlan he could play for South Australia in the over 60s, who were short players.
Unfortunately, a batting error ended up in Nowlan severely injuring his foot.
But it was the following game playing with the Queensland Over 70s, against South Australia, that he unleashed his damaging bowling skills.
"I fronted up with them, and when I came on to bowl against SA, they were going really well, I took a hat-trick. I finished with four wickets," Nowlan said.
"That changed the course of the game and we won.
"I didn't know at the time, but a couple years later I found out I was the first Queenslander at the veterans nationals to take a hat-trick."
Although the all-rounder cricketer won't take to the pitch again, Nowlan is proud to continue the Lockyer Veterans club, which has three teams.
He is an advocate for mental health awareness and says talking about men's health at cricket has sparked a change in many cricketers' lives.
"Because of that I was happy to talk and write about it, and I've been able to open up in our cricket newsletter about men's health," he said.
"People have understood there's a serious message there."
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