Nestled down a long driveway off Avonhead road, tucked in between the Burnside Bowls Club and the famous Burnside Rugby Football Club, sits The Burnside West Christchurch University Cricket Club. A club with a unique history and host to some special individuals.
This Saturday the club will play for the inaugural Jerry Cross Memorial Shield. If you follow local club cricket, chances are you will know Jerry Cross. Jerry was an avid supporter of BWCUCC and consistently went above and beyond for the club. Doing whatever he could to help. Whether it be getting the drinks ready or attending the scoreboard Jerry was always keen and willing to do whatever he could to make game days go as smoothly as possible. A passion for stats, Jerry compiled stats for player and team performances not only for BWCUCC and the Christchurch Metro Competition, but also his beloved Canterbury Crusaders and National sides. He supported the club religiously since 1971/72 as a 16 year old. He would travel anywhere to watch the club and was a loved member. Jerry was rewarded for his ongoing services to the club with life membership at the 2017 AGM. Jerry could never wield a bat or throw down the stumps due to his physical disabilities. But this never hindered his contribution to the club. The roles he played were just as important as anyone in the playing XI. Jerry sadly passed away in 2020, a terrific club man loved by all.
This Saturday’s game will split the club in half. Recognising the merger between West Christchurch Cricket Club out of Hagley and The University Cricket Club who were based out of Ilam Fields. Then went on to merge with Burnside Cricket in 1972-73 moving full time to Burnside Park. Concluding 67 years at Hagley Oval. The merge of these clubs through the 1900’s following depressions and World Wars were paramount to maintaining the standard of local cricket.
To pay tribute to one of the club’s favourite patrons and to also acknowledge the club’s rich history. Premier and Championship players that have studied or are studying at The University of Canterbury will combine as ‘University,’ and take on the members of the club that are tradesmen, workers or affiliated with other Universities from around the country. They will combine as ‘Burnside West Christchurch.’
If you are around this weekend, Saturday the 24th, venture down to the club. There will be a working bee to get the club ready for the start of the cricket season commencing from 9am. Followed by The Jerry Cross Memorial Shield, University v Burnside West Christchurch. The fixture will be a T20. Bar opens for the first ball at 1pm for no doubt an exciting afternoon and the start of what is hopefully a successful 2022/23 season and the start of a special tradition.