Ben Rohrer takes up role with Cricket Tasmania

Home sweet home: Ben Rohrer at Rosedale Oval. He holds the record for the highest score at the ground. Picture: Simon Bennett
Home sweet home: Ben Rohrer at Rosedale Oval. He holds the record for the highest score at the ground. Picture: Simon Bennett

As Cricket Tasmania’s new state talent manager, Ben Rohrer will be in charge of identifying the best young cricket talent across the Apple Isle.

He could do worse than recruit 11 Ben Rohrers.

The 36-year-old has been a pillar of strength for the Fairfield Liverpool Lions since he started playing Green Shield for the club as a 15-year-old.

Since making his first grade debut in 2000, he has racked up close to 9000 runs and scored 22 centuries for the club.

Now, Rohrer, who in recent times has captained the club, bids farewell to the baggy yellow.

“It was a tough decision. I was saying to one of the guys I have been at the club for 20 years – when you put it that way it is a long time and I have made a lot of friends here,” Rohrer told the Champion after he arrived in Tasmania on Monday.

“It’s going to be sad to move on but the club has a lot of good young kids which is exciting for the future.

“Not leading the boys onto the field will be tough come the start of the season.”

In a career full of highlights, Rohrer pinpointed the club’s two premierships wins in 2000/2001 and 2005/06 as the standouts, alongside playing with fellow club legends and good friends Grant Lambert and Anthony Clark for a large part of his career.

His form at club level led to his NSW debut in 2007 where he scored 163 against Tasmania. In total, he complied 2895 Sheffield Shield runs in 54 games at an average of 36.65.

He will be better remembered for his short-form exploits in the game at the next level.

In 2009, Rohrer ran arguably the most famous bye in Australian cricket history to help NSW win the Twenty20 title in 2009.

With the scores tied and one ball remaining, Rohrer scrambled a bye to deny Victoria a fourth straight title and be named man of the match for his explosive unbeaten 44 off just 20 balls, including four sixes.

He backed that up with Big Bash League titles with the Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers.

He was rewarded for his consistency in T20 cricket with selection for Australia in 2013. Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones described Rohrer as a “quality cricketer and person”.

“He treasured every game he played in the Baggy Blue and was a calm and wise presence in the NSW squad throughout his career,” he said. “Ben has been a terrific mentor to our young players in word and deed, being a strong cricketer on game day while being respectful, kind and giving to his teammates and support staff.”

Rohrer’s playing days are not over. He will take guard for the Sydney Thunder in this year’s Big Bash League and some grade cricket in Tasmania. He is also hopeful of sneaking a couple of games in for the Lions during the Christmas period at his beloved Rosedale Oval – a ground where he holds the record score of 276.

“It’s such a different ground to anywhere in Sydney. It’s so big and yet you barely see a car when you’re playing and it’s so quiet and peaceful,” he said.  “I’m definitely going to miss Rosedale; I have scored a lot of runs there over the years.”

Messages flooded the Fairfield Liverpool’s Facebook page describing the elegant left-handed batsman as a “true legend”, “Fairfield Liverpool icon” and a “true champion of the club”.

Last season he became one of only five players to have scored two double centuries in a season joining elite company including Don Bradman (1931-1932).

Rohrer said he was excited by his new role.

“Nick Cummins [Cricket Tasmania chief executive] gave me a call and asked me what I was doing post-cricket because he thought he had a role that suited me,” he said.

“They have had a couple of lean years but they have a lot of talent down here that I’m excited to work with and get Tasmania to their goal of being the best state in the country.”

This story Rohrer leaves the den first appeared on Fairfield City Champion.