The highlight of Brian Nettle’s career came in January 1969 when chosen for the S.A. Country XI for a match against the West Indies, being the first Wistow cricketer to play against an international opponent. It was a day of sweltering heat at Loxton when he opened the bowling, taking 2/32 and later scoring a quick 10 runs from the spinners, for he intended departing before Wes Hall and Charlie Griffiths resumed bowling. During the 1960’s and early 1970’s “Sting” was a regular Country Carnival player and was in the combined S.A.C.A. Country XI in 1969 and 70 but it was his bag of five wickets in 1968 against a City XI that saw his selection for the match against the West Indies.
Brian played his first full season in 1959/60 after a handful of games previously. He was an early “bloomer” and soon this promising teenager was opening the bowling and throughout the 1960’s became a bowler of genuine pace and fire who could take early wickets and lift for a big game. Wistow won five premierships during that time with Sting playing in four of them.
He won several club bowling trophies as well as the Association Bowling Aggregate of 38 wickets in 1972/73. He also won several club and two Association Best Allrounder trophies in a career spanning 32 years which eventually ended in 1991/92. For the first 20 odd years of his career he was a quality bowler who could bat and in later seasons he excelled as an top order batsman. Statistics show:-
- Youngest A Grade century maker at 16 years
- Oldest A Grade century maker at 42 years (in 1986/87 – 141*)
- 14 centuries in all, but only one club batting trophy!!
“Sting” played an extraordinary 20 seasons in Association matches with a best effort of 5/32 in winning the Meyer Shield in 1974 against the Hills Cricket Association. Brian was Club Captain for three seasons and served on the committee regularly. He is a former Club President and Secretary/Treasurer and was awarded Life Membership in 1988.
FOOTNOTE: Ian Slade (A Mt. Barker cricketer who played for Wistow from 1965 to 1968) was selected in the Combined SACA Country Carnival XI in 1967 and 1968 and captained the team against a City XI.
Wistow CC Life Member – Awarded in 1988
Six-time A Grade Premiership Player – 1960/61, 1963/64 (took 5/33), 1964/65 (took 7/29), 1965/66 (took 4/39), 1973/74 (took 4/37) & 1982/83
1972/73 Association A Grade Bowling Aggregate – 38 wickets
1985/86 A Grade Batting – Average – 44.14 (309 runs) (At 41 years of age)
Statistics have only been collated to date for the tail end of Sting’s career from 1984/85 to 1991/92 but in that time he scored 1,394 runs in A Grade @ 33.19 including two centuries – extremely impressive considering he was in his forties during those years!!