Portarlington veteran hailed as one of the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association’s all-time legends

McGrath will take to the field on Saturday as just the second player in the association’s history to reach 600 A-grade wickets.

His legacy as one of the competition’s greatest ever players was further confirmed last weekend as he claimed 4-60 on day one against Collendina to surpass the milestone.

“It’s obviously fantastic to get there,” McGrath said.

“It’s a huge honour, I don’t take it lightly.”

An incredible feat, the all-rounder admitted the milestone delivery itself was anything but, with a full toss securing him wicket 600, after Collendina’s Dean Britt fittingly hit it straight to McGrath’s brother Adam at mid-off.

Now nearing the end of an astonishing 24th season with Portarlington, McGrath puts both his longevity and an extraordinary list of achievements down to an enduring love for the game and the club he’s won four premierships with.

“I’ve always loved cricket and Portarlington — love the club — so that’s probably the main thing,” he said. “Just being involved with mates and just enjoying playing with guys and just staying active too.”

PAUL McGRATH CAREER STATS

Age: 40

A-grade games: 296 — 3rd most ever in BPCA

A-grade wickets: 601- 2nd most ever in BPCA

A-grade runs: 7844 — 3rd most ever in BPCA

A-grade centuries: 12 — 4th most ever in BPCA

Best figures: 9-19 — BPCA record

Best Score: 202* — 5th best ever in BPCA

A-grade premierships: 4

Hat-tricks: 2

BPCA Player of the Year Awards: 3

BPCA Team of the season: 10 times — BPCA record

Member of BPCA Team of the Half-Century