Darren Berry

Former first-class cricketer

Darren Berry is an enduring figure in Australian first-class cricket. Over a playing career that spanned 15 years, he set a new benchmark for wicketkeepers at domestic level.

Darren first played junior cricket with Buckley Ridges in Melbourne’s southeast, before moving to the South Gippsland country town Wonthaggi as a young boy. He represented Australia at underage level before joining the Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide in 1988. At the end of the scholarship year at the Academy, he made his first class debut for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield in 1989/90.

In March 2011, South Australian Cricket (SAA) signed him as the new coach of the West End Redbacks. He was previously in charge of the Redbacks in their premiership winning KFC Twenty 20 Big Bash campaign.

Capable of standing up to the stumps to medium pacers, Darren’s sharp reflexes and clean glovework saw him quickly establish himself at state level. His ability is underlined by his ownership of the World Record for the most number of runs scored against (2,447) without conceding a bye.

Returning to his native Victoria in 1990/91, Darren was part of the state’s first Sheffield Shield title in over a decade. It was the beginning of a record-breaking stint with the Bushrangers for Darren who would become Victoria’s games record holder in Shield and one-day cricket and the first player to 500 Shield dismissals.

Darren had his finest first-class season with the bat in 1996/97, scoring the first of four Shield hundreds with 148 against NSW at the SCG. He was rewarded with a berth on the Ashes Tour of 1997 as a replacement for the injured Adam Gilchrist and again was exemplary with his keeping and batting.

Captaining Victoria to the Mercantile Mutual Cup in 1998/99, Darren continued to set new records. He ended his career by leading the Bushrangers to the Pura Cup title, 14 years after his first triumph.

Having hung up his gloves, the qualified physical education teacher became a radio commentator for Triple M on the station’s ratings-leading AFL coverage and a columnist with the Sunday Age. Darren was enticed to coach the Carlton Cricket Club in the Victorian Premier League. He was also appointed Team Manager for the Rajasthan Royals franchise in the Indian Premier League and Assistant Coach for the South Australia Redbacks.

In 2004, Darren published his autobiography, Keeping It Real, which for the first time revealed the difficult latter journey of his cricketing career.

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