In the Sheds…Salad
To the outside observer, the hierarchy of Sydney University Cricket Club (SUCC) would logically be based around on-field performance. It would make perfect sense for runs scored, wickets taken and run-outs/catches effected to establish the foundations of your cricketing identity.
But in reality, on-field performances are the mere gloss on top of a young man’s character. In-game moments are reflected upon and great players come and go – or at Uni, come and stay – but the truly defining characteristic of any Uni cricketer lies beneath his baggy blue and gold.
It’s a salad.
For those not familiar with the term, this salad is no dietary delight. It’s not Caesar nor Greek or even Garden. It should however be ever-fresh. It’s the product of your weekly, monthly or quarterly trip to the barbers – or to the salad doctor’s surgery (Military Rd, Neutral Bay) if you’re that way inclined.
It’s your hair.
SUCC provides a peerless barometer for the transient fashions of the male lid. The varieties of style are vast, but it isn’t altogether impossible to establish some generic looks…
The Mop: Most proudly exhibited by little known enigma Josh Stuart, the mop has also seen recent exhibition by Matt Powys and, over many years, Henry Clark (sb. Balding). Characterised by a distinct lack of attention paid to it, the mop is an unruly tangle of strands also commonly sported by opponents from coastal clubs, especially in blonde.
The High and Tight: The namesake haircut of salad itself. Short sides (bowl), neatly styled top (leaves) – commonly with wax (dressing) – the high and tight salad is the apple of a number of students’ eyes at the club, just as it is the envy of many others’. Extravagantly paraded by James Crowley (sb. Balding), the high and tight commonly draws comment but can easily be spoiled by a lack of maintenance, or excessive aggression. In the mould of Tom Galvin circa 15/16, Xavier Frawley has fallen the most recent victim to “making his haircut worthwhile” and opting for No.1 sides and back. Also notably embraced by Salad Bros. Lewis McMahon and Alex Shaw, the high and tight is an undeniably strong haircut. Though if either of them worried half as much about executing their on-field skills, they might have played more than half a dozen games of 2’s between them.
The Dome: Need it any introduction? Steve Hobson has the most dominant dome that ever graced the elevated tabletop of the old No.2 or the hallowed home sheds. The man is reverse-Samson, and if there’s any causation rather than correlation to batting success, there should be blokes all throughout the inner-west pulling out the VS Sassoon to emulate him. Plus, as a haircut, it’s easier.
The Tennis Ball/Microphone: In a similarly peerless display to that of his batting, Greg Mail’s textbook single-length-all-over number must sit quite superbly beneath the Albion. It’s the epitome of no-nonsense and he wears it well. It implies the same lack of concern for salad as Greg shows for spinners, but it isn’t for everyone. The most recent attempted replication by recent SUCC alumni Alexander Logan hasn’t ended up so well. He should have stuck with the widow’s peak, despite his ardent protestations that he “likes it”. Judge for yourself by checking out @alexanderlogan.
Balding: A common affliction amongst middle-aged males, SUCC is a graveyard for once-proud salads turned shadows of their selves. Sufferers include aforementioned Clark, Crowley along with Alumni Toyer and the original Theobald.
Devon: Small to moderate bald patch, typically on the crown eg. Will Hay.
Receding: Oversized forehead due to hairline recession eg. Jack Holloway
Proceeding: Full, thick crop of hair, protruding from the forehead eg. Ed Arnott
In a category all of his own however is 3rd Grade stalwart and skipper Ash Cowan. In what can only be described as one of the greatest debacles of all-time, on one occasion Ash decided that the services of a hairdresser were superfluous; it was either that or he needed to save money for the bus fare to Dave Phillips the following day. So bad was his DIY trim, he didn’t have the gall to tell the boys he’d done it himself, shamelessly dragging the reputation of an unsuspecting Sydney barber through the mud in a bid to save himself ridicule. It didn’t work. And so the truth came out at an end-of-year function, Cowan regaling the disastrous tale to a group of teammates who could only be described as paralysed with laughter. If you’ve ever got a spare half hour, a 6-pack and access to tubs, hear it from the great man himself.