Richard (Leo) DeSalis
Treasurer; Executive Committee & Finance Sub-Committee Member; Right-hand batsman; Right-arm medium-pace bowler.
‘Salad’ is now officially the highest wicket-taker in Great Melton’s history having bagged 666 wickets by the end of the 2016 season. He also boasts a very economical runs-per-wicket average of 17.44 and he is 8th in the all-time appearances list having played 493 times. Leo, as we all know him although he now prefers his original name, Richard, first played for Melton back in 1990 but, after a few seasons away, he returned in 1994. In 2002 Leo set a new club record when he claimed 38 wickets in Division 6 and was named the division’s bowler-of-the-year. He added the Division 7 award in 2005. He is also a useful lower order batsmen and scored his maiden 50 at Hingham in 2001. He’s even been known to open the batting in junior matches! He instigated the club’s fines’ system and his grumpiness, ‘casual’ approach to fielding plus a tendency o bowl the occasional wide has ensured a steady flow of cash into the coffers ever since. He is a ‘tour legend’ thanks to his minimalist approach to tour ‘themes’, adapting the same fancy dress to fit whatever the current theme happens to be. The Austrian goat-herd look is sure to feature! eventually, Leo! Slightly eccentric, Leo has been known to ‘wind up’ the opposition – and sometimes his teammates – for no apparent reason and is still trying to lose his reputation for ‘unusual’ cricket teas. Nevertheless he’s a really good clubman, likes umpiring and scoring and, having spent a couple of seasons encouraging the youngsters in the C Team where his 20 wickets in 2010 won him the Player of the Year Award and his 24 in 2011 helped the Cs achieve promotion, he has found himself back in the Bs and, for most of 2014, in the As where his 15 wickets won him (jointly with Martin Bunn) the A Team Player of the Year Award. In 2015 he played mainly in the C and Sunday A teams (with 3 appearances for the As) and last year he flitted between the Bs and the As. Although his ageing body means his bowling has lost a bit of pace, he is still a steady and reliable bowler as his stats indicate: in fact he’s always always good for 20+ wickets a season wherever he plays. Expect him to add more to his tally this summer! Although we sometimes get frustrated by Leo’s fielding, he has, in fact completed 107 catches and he has made some valuable runs in his time – currently his aggregate stands at 2486 with an average of 13.81 and a highest score of 69. Leo was formerly involved in hockey as a player and umpire and now, having taken over from long-serving Treasurer, Grenville Ireland in 2014, he is doing a very good job looking after the club’s finances.