Wayne A. “Willow” Willis (1993/94 – 2016/17)


One of only a handful of Wistow players to have played SACA ‘A’ Grade District cricket in Adelaide, including Jim Thring (WCC debut 1972), Brayden Leckie (2002), Daniel Jenner (2016) and Joshua Fidler (2020); Wayne returned to play country cricket with Wistow in 1993/94.  He was soon known to be an intense and fiercely competitive player who said we ‘were an unruly bunch’ and acknowledged captain Andrew ‘Ned’ Kleemann on his management skills to steer Wistow to the premiership that season.  That grand final saw Wayne as top scorer when run out on 73, having had a big partnership with Darren ‘Raz’ Rasmussen (50 runs) – a teammate Wayne held in high esteem for his ability and cricket ‘know-how’.  Wayne also top scored (59) in the 2007/08 premiership.

Wayne Willis was the ‘A’ Grade captain for the 2002/03 premiership in which Brett ‘Barrel’ Lynn was extraordinary in scoring 110 runs – more than all his teammates’ runs combined – and then taking 4/12 off 10.3 overs to seal the victory!  Brett would also become a stalwart of the club, ‘A’ Grade captain for 5 seasons, including in the premierships of 2004/05 and 2007/08.

During his 20-season career, Willow played in 9 grand finals for 5 premierships.  An aggressive middle-order batter, he was at his peak in the late 1990’s, scoring 697 runs in 1997/98 and 632 runs in 1998/99.  Overall, Wayne won the Association ‘A’ Grade Batting Aggregate 3 times, the club Batting Aggregate 6 times and the Average 7 times. 

Wayne’s 228 runs on 22 November 1997 against Hahndorf remains a club record for highest individual ‘A’ Grade score (featuring 12 sixes and 29 fours).  Another great innings came in December 2002 with Wistow slumping to 8/70 before being all out for 204 thanks only to Wayne making 162 runs (featuring 8 sixes and 10 fours; comprising 79% of the team’s total!!).  He also scored two other 150-plus innings including a second-highest score of 189. 

At retirement as a regular ‘A’ Grader following the 2013/14 season, a 39 year old Wayne had notched up 10 centuries, scoring 5,059 runs (good for 4th most in club history – 4,920 of them coming in ‘A’ Grade) at a very impressive average of 41.81 – in fact the best career batting average in WCC history!  He played in the Association team, the Meyer Shield, during 3 of his seasons.  As mentioned above, he won the Association Batting Aggregate trophy on three occasions – back-to-back in 1997/98 & 1998/99 and again in 2002/03.

As a wicketkeeper of class and polish, it would be fair to say that Wayne has been the best keeper to have played at Wistow over a long period.  As good as his glovework and footwork were, Willow’s best skill as a ‘keeper may have been his mouth and quick wit as Wayne was well known to have the ability to distract and get under the skin of opposing batters.  To add to his allrounder status, when rarely not keeping, he was a capable ‘whippy’ medium pace bowler and whilst he only took 41 career wickets, they came at an incredible average of 12.29!

It all began as a 10 year old Colts cricketer at the Macclesfield Cricket Club where he progressed to U/16s and in the afternoon would play ‘C’ Grade and soon was a regular in ‘A’ Grade.  During the next 2 or 3 seasons Wayne honed his skills at SACA clubs Sturt and then Prospect where he progressed to Second Grade at both clubs and played about 3 First Grade matches at Prospect.  After joining Wistow for the 1993/94 and 1994/95 seasons, Wayne returned to SACA competition, this time at Elizabeth where he played two seasons of First Grade District cricket before returning to Wistow in 1997/98 where he then proved to be a dominant player of his era.




Five-time A Grade Premiership Player – 1993/94 (top scored – 73), 1999/00, 2002/03, 2004/05 and 2007/08 (top scored – 59)

2002/03    A Grade Premiership Captain

1997/98    Association A Grade Batting Aggregate Leader – 634 runs

1998/99    Association A Grade Batting Aggregate Leader – 632 runs

2002/03    Association A Grade Batting Aggregate Leader – 507 runs

1993/94    A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 445 runs @ 89.00

1994/95    A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 501 runs @ 62.63

1997/98    A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 697 runs @ 46.47

1998/99    A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 632 runs @ 57.45

2000/01    A Grade Batting – Average – 34.33 (309 runs)

2001/02    A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 472 runs @ 52.44    **Stats are incomplete for this season**

2002/03    A Grade Batting – Aggregate & Average – 520 runs @ 47.27

1998/99    A Grade Allrounder (Voted Award) – 632 runs, 5 wickets & 14 catches

1994/95    A Grade Best Fielder (Voted Award) & A Grade Most Catches – 10 catches, 3 stumpings

1997/98    A Grade Most Catches – 24 catches, 7 stumpings

2002/03    A Grade Most Catches – 31 catches, 5 stumpings

2004/05    A Grade Most Catches – 10 catches, 3 stumpings


133 senior matches (130 in ‘A’ Grade)

5,059 runs (4th most in WCC history) @ 41.81 (4,920 runs scored in ‘A’ Grade @ 41.34 including 10 centuries and a club record 29 half-centuries)

41 wickets @ 12.29 with best figures of 4/5

155 catches (3rd most in WCC history) & 30 stumpings (2nd most in WCC history)