Vin Cahil (right) with Golden Point president Mark Vandeheuvel and fellow Pointies legend Bill McKay at the Eastern Oval in 2010. Photo: Adam TraffordTHE Ballarat cricket community has lost one ofits greats – Vin Cahill.
Cahill died atSt John of God Hospital on Thursday. He was 94.
His family summed up his passion for cricket in a death notice in The Courier on Saturday in this way: “They’ve finally taken your bails. Out for 94. What a solid innings.”
The Courier’s Tim O’Connor wrote this feature on Cahill in 2009.
VIN Cahill is the first to admit that his wife of more than 60 years is a cricket widow.
That’s because the lifelong cricket tragic has been out of the house and involved in the game for more than 70 years – either wielding the willow as a classy opening batsman or as an administrator at league and regional level.
Cahill, who is forever grateful of the support received from wife Dot, says his input off the field has been just as rewarding as his time on it.
“I was 59 when I gave up playing,” Cahill said.
“But all the time I have been involved in administration I must say they have been just as enjoyable years as playing.
“I have met a lot of people, a lot of fine people and a lot of fine players.
“The 88-year-old began his playing days with Haddon before joining Railways in the Ballarat Cricket Association in 1937.
Stints at Golden Point and North Ballarat followed, before stepping away from playing commitments to fulfil a passion of giving back to the game he loves.
The Ballarat Cricket Association life member served a long stint as a selector for the league, the majority as chairman, before returning to the Roosters 10 years ago.
Here, he is on committee and is the current club firsts team manager.His role in administration is just as extensive as the cricketing history and memorabilia that lines his Ballarat home.
Cahill has spent 35 years on the Central Highlands board, where he is also a life member, was involved in BCA’s Country Week campaign for 39 years -16 as a player and 23 as manager/coach -and still coaches the Central Highlands under-21 team, which has won the past two state championships.
Cahill was so determined to remain unbiased during his years as a selector, he cut ties with BCA clubs.
“I remained neutral when I held that position,” Cahill said.
“I felt I didn’t want to be involved in any particular club, I just wanted to be neutral.
“I wandered around of a Saturday and had a look at the sides.”
Cahill, who once made 196 at the MCG in a Country Week final against Albury-Wodonga, believed World War Two duties had hampered his opportunity to take his cricketing prowess to higher levels.
Before being called up to serve his country, Cahill had been offered a position with South Melbourne in Melbourne’s district cricket competition.
“The war years came along and there was no cricket. Then they brought in compulsory military training, (so) I had to do some training,” Cahill said.
“The Japanese came into the war and I joined the Australian Imperial Force and had four or five years (with them).
“The evergreen veteran admits time may be catching up with him, but isn’t quite ready to step aside from his cricket commitments just yet.
“At my age it is getting close, isn’t it?” Cahill joked.
“It depends on my health. At the moment I am going good.
“To sum it up I would have to be honest and say the game has been good to me.”
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