Graham Croker

Sydney University paceman Marty Paskal will soon be able to unleash his repertoire on the fast and bouncy WACA pitch in Perth, having been signed to a two-year contract by the Western Australian Cricket Association for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

The 24-year-old right-arm quick has been an integral member of the Sydney University Cricket Club since arriving at the University on a Sporting Scholarship in 2004.

He made his presence felt in his debut season when SUCC First XI broke a 79-year drought in securing the Belvedere Cup for the Sydney Grade Cricket premiership. In winning the premiership, Sydney University lost just once – on the first innings – in 19 rounds.

Captained by Shane Stanton, Sydney University went on to defeat the University of New South Wales (108 and 9-205 to 137 and 174) in one of the most gripping finals in Sydney grade cricket in many years. Stanton top-scored with a patient 64 in Sydney University’s second innings, while Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill and tyro Paskal were crucial to the win. MacGill turned in match figures of 9-110 and Paskal claimed seven wickets, including four vital second innings dismissals, and figured in a last wicket stand with former Australian all-rounder Greg Matthews, who hit the winning runs.

Paskal was a rookie contracted player with NSW from 2005-06 to 2007-08 but endured three injury-interrupted seasons with random appearances for NSW Second XI and NSW Under 23s. He bounced back in great fashion over the past two summers for Sydney University and collected 48 wickets in the three Sydney Grade Cricket competitions in 2009-10 at an average of 14.48, second behind St George’s Trent Copeland, who claimed 51 scalps at 13.82. Paskal also represented the NSW Futures League team last season.

Sydney University Sport High Performance and Club Development Manager, Matthew Phelps, said Marty has been an integral member of the SUCC First Grade since his arrival from the Central Coast in 2004.

“Marty has certainly done it the hard way,” said Phelps, a former team-mate of the fast bowler. “He was only able to complete 30 matches in the next four seasons and lost his Cricket NSW Rookie Contract due to a spate of injuries that curtailed his development and career.”

“Winter 2008 saw Marty complete his first off season injury free and provide the framework for the success he enjoys today.”

Phelps said all of the hard work and technical improvements to Paskal’s action have paid off and the 2008-09 season was a foundation year for him.

“He played most of the year in 2nd Grade, continued to work hard on his technical improvements and strength and completed his first full season in four years with seven wickets again in the grand final defeat to St George,” Phelps said.

“Marty led the SUCC 1st Grade attack in 2009-10 and his early season wickets led to selection in 2nd X1 matches for NSW and ultimately recognition from other states that he is more than capable of competing at first-class level.

“Marty has the physical attributes to play at the next level but most importantly he has the ability to bowl a consistent heavy ball. This consistent pace and the ability to subtly send one past the batter’s nose provide Marty with the tools to be a success.

“Marty has been one of the driving forces behind the success of the club over the past four years. His improved knowledge of bowling and mentoring of our young bowlers has provided the club with an abundance of fast bowlers. His work with this group in the gym and educating our players on the preparation required to play at a higher level has driven a first-class culture within the ranks of SUCC.”

Phelps said Paskal’s wit and humour will be sorely missed around the club. “He will be hard to replace but he has left a legacy which is the envy of many other clubs in the Sydney Grade competition,” he said.

“The SUCC wish him all the best in his career with the Warriors.”