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Vaughan could be greatest export

Wednesday, 16th March, 2011

By Peter Argent 

The man appointed captain of the Outback Emus Invitational XI to tackle the Darren Lehmann All-Stars has enjoyed a fruitful cricket career.

In fact, it could be argued that Jeff Vaughan is Broken Hill's greatest cricket export.

The inaugural Favell Scholarship recipient, Vaughan was born in Sydney but raised in Broken Hill before venturing to Adelaide where he played 28 first-class games for the SA Redbacks from 1997 to the summer of 2002-03. 

Before that, as a 16-year-old, Vaughan was a key member of the Barrier team's last SACA Country Cricket Championships victory back in 1990. 

He went on to collect the "Player of the Championships" award from that event, and then peeled off a century against the State second XI side, captained by

Wayne Phillips, playing for a combined team selected from the carnival. 

He was further honoured playing against the touring English side during the summer of 1991-92 in a one-day match at Port Pirie, although he didn't have much influence with the willow that day, being dismissed for just two. 

Vaughan's accolades are many and varied. 

The weight of runs at schoolboy and club level forced his selection in the South Australian under age teams and later earned him selection in the Australian Cricket Academy's 1997 intake. 

Vaughan won the LMS Hargrave award for his efforts at District A Grade level in 1995-96. This honour is awarded annually to the most outstanding SACA cricketer under the age of 23 years. 

He also won a Bob Zadow Medal as Man of the Match for SA District side Prospect in their one-day title victory in 1997-98, carving out an accomplished 91 in the final. 

A correct batsman and elegant stroke-maker, Vaughan also enjoyed A Grade premiership success when the Prospect Pirates beat Adelaide by 50 runs in 2000-01.

In an extensive SACA district career with Prospect, which started at Alberton Oval as a 17-year-old with 44 in 1991-1992, Vaughan finished with 5915 runs at an average of 42.55, including 16 centuries. 

His highest score came against Port Adelaide, where in a one-day game (after rain ruined day one of the game), he smashed 204 not out at Port Reserve. 

Bowling mainly medium pace, Vaughan was a handy occasional trundler, claiming 54 district wickets at 21.65, including a wicket with the second ball he ever bowled at A grade level.

Making his Sheffield Shield debut in the first week of January 1997, Vaughan opened with a duck against the potent New South Wales side, and then became the 500th first class wicket for former Test spinner Greg Matthews when he was dismissed for six in the second innings. 

His maiden first class century, an assertive 121 against Tasmania, was made on Bellerive Oval in Hobart on the days of December 11 and 12, 1998. 

At the end of day two Vaughan was stranded on 99. He completed this century early the next morning and celebrated this feat with his team enjoying an outright victory later that day. 

This was followed by a brilliant and unbeaten 157 against Western Australian on a bouncy Perth pitch later that month. 

Unconquered on 78 overnight, Vaughan reached his century in the morning session of day two on December 20 as the runs rattled off his bat. 

Batting at number five he was involved in a century stand with WA expatriate David Fitzgerald and a second hundred partnership with all rounder Ben Johnson. 

Vaughan's third and final hundred at this level came in a Pura Cup match, also against WA at Adelaide Oval in October 2000. After making a duck in the first innings, Vaughan produced an unconquered 131, ensuring South Australian fought out a draw on the final day. 

Over a 28-match, 52-innings career, Vaughan finished with a respectable average of 31.04, with nine scores of 50 or more, to add to his three tons. 

He also played 24 50-over one-day matches for SA, collecting two half centuries. 

Rod Johnston, who was a successful captain of the Broken Hill Barrier side for a decade until 1987, and who also was Vaughan's team manager when he coached the SA Outbacks, had high praise of Jeff's coaching ability. 

"When he coached the Outbacks, Jeff's greatest asset was his communication skills and his ability to relate to players," Johnson said. 

"He had a strong emphasis on team philosophies and certainly had the respect of the playing group. 

"Jeff presided over our best performance, where we won four of the final games in championships in Mildura in 2007," Johnston adde.

Vaughan coached the SA Outbacks for three campaigns in the Australian Country Cricket Championships, before being offered a position as an assistant coach with the SA Redbacks under Mark Sorrell.

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