Former Australian cricketer and headmaster Paul Sheahan has been elected the 26th president of the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), following David Meiklejohn who has reached the end of his four-year term.
A talented right-hand batsman and excellent fieldsman, Mr Sheahan played 31 Tests between 1967 and 1974, scoring 1594 runs at 33.91, including two centuries.
For Victoria, he scored 3988 runs in first-class matches at the excellent average of 59.52. His great-grandfather William Henry Cooper played two Tests for Australia in the 1880s.
Seemingly on the verge of becoming Australia's regular Test opening batsman, Mr Sheahan retired at the relatively young age of 27 to concentrate on his teaching career. He rose to Principal of Geelong College and later Headmaster at Melbourne Grammar School, a position he held until retirement in 2009.
Mr Sheahan, 64, is the latest in a long line of Test cricketers who have served as office bearers during the MCC’s 173-year history. He becomes just the second president to have played Test cricket, joining Hans Ebeling who played one Test in 1934.
Vernon Ransford and Australian captains Hugh Trumble and Ian Johnson each held the position of club secretary (now CEO), while William Moule, William Bruce, John McIlwraith, Robert McLeod, George Alexander, Francis Allan, Keith Rigg, Lisle Nagel and Warwick Armstrong served as committeemen.
An MCC member since 1983, Mr Sheahan has strong ties to the cricket club. A First XI premiership player, he is also an Honorary Cricket member, XXIX Club member and in 2000 was selected in the MCC Team of the Century. He is also a Life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club.
He has been a member of the MCC Committee since 1987 and a vice president for the past eight years. He has chaired the Club Sub-committee since 2005 and been a member of the Cricket Sub-committee since 2004.
During his time on the committee, the club has overseen a complete redevelopment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, along with growth in MCC membership numbers from 44,000 to more than 101,000.
“It is an enormous honour to be the 26th president of the Melbourne Cricket Club and I look forward to working with our members and all stakeholders of the MCG to ensure that we enhance our position as one of the greatest clubs and sporting venues in the world,” said Mr Sheahan.
“On behalf of our members and the committee, I pay tribute to David Meiklejohn for the outstanding contribution he made as president over the past four years, but also during his 23 years of loyal service as a committeeman of the club.”
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Paul Sheahan will be available for comment regarding his appointment. Please contact MCC communications manager Shane Brown (0418 353 431) to make arrangements.