By Jessica Long
The Owen Allan Cricket Challenge Trophy has become the focus of Australia Day celebrations in Eden in recent years. The day-long competition for the prestigious trophy has local business houses play limited over cricket in a fun, round robin event.
This year, the Spink Tiling team took out the trophy for the second time in three years after chasing down the Great Southern Inn’s 70 run target. For full match coverage turn to the sports pages.
But who was Owen Allan, and why does he have a cricket match named after him?
A through and through cricket fan, Allan Owen moved to Eden in the 1950s and was quick to sign up to the Eden Cricket Club.
Owen’s daughter, Ros Butt, remembers her father as an immense supporter of the club and a promoter of the sport in the local area.
“I guess because he used to watch cricket so much and was keen on it, when he retired he decided to do something for the sport and donated the Owen Allan Cup,” Ms Butt said.
“He made it so teams from local businesses would get together and play for the cup in a social cricket game.
“The winner would hang on to the cup until it was decided that someone wanted to challenge them for it.
“Somehow it fizzled out and the president of the Eden Cricket Club must have heard about it some years later and gave me a call,” she said.
The cup had gone missing for a number of years and the local cup legend close to fading out was luckily recovered as the cup was found.
Thus the now annual event lives on and is in its fourth year of cricket glory.
“It’s really nice to have the cup resurrected again and having it played for on the Australia Day holiday,” Ms Butt said.
“Hopefully I will get down to watch the match, but I won’t be partaking.”
Eden Cricket Club president Drew Mudaliar said the Owen Allan Cup was found by the Eden Killer Whale Museum four years ago and the club used the opportunity to contribute to the local area’s Australia Day celebrations.
“We proposed to the museum to hold a cricket challenge and have the cup as the trophy,” Mr Mudaliar said.
“It’s been really successful with roughly eight businesses competing again this year in 45 minute games which progress to the final.
“We’ve had hundreds of people across many generations come and play or watch the matches and in a lot of ways I think it has become the focal point of Australia Day in Eden.
“It’s a chance to be social over a great, fun game of cricket, have a beer, a yarn and a barbecue,” he said.
Each entrant pays a small entry fee to play in the Owen Allan Australia Day cricket match with the $500 worth of earnings given to the winning team to donate to their selected charity.