Newsletter Archive

Autumn 2016.

Backspin Magazine

The fate of Backspin is still to be determined, though it looks very much as if issue 12 will be the last. This is a great pity as previous issues were chock full, cover to cover, with items of cricket interest of yesteryear, which, ironically, may be one of the reasons for its demise. I offer the following observations. The retro title was launched in 2013 as the sister publication to Backpass, which was founded in 2007. Both titles were published by a small group of enthusiasts, which has now dwindled to just the founder. Backspin is probably unique in that it carries absolutely no advertising, which is crucial for survival. The editor told me that he has to pay a crippling £10k just to put the title on the shelves of WH Smith. Probably one of the biggest causes of failure was that the obvious target market of older cricket followers is largely unaware of the magazine’s existence. I would have thought a mailshot plus a complimentary copy should have been sent to all cricket societies – perhaps it was. Did any society ever receive any mailshots? To quote John Simons, the editor of The Cricket Society News Bulletin, “Backspin packs far more interest in a single issue than in a year’s worth of the competition.” The potentially farewell issue #12 was planned to appear in June (originally May), and actually arrived in July! If you go to Smith’s you’ll have to hunt for it in the larger branches. £10k does not guarantee prominent display space; my local branch hides it on the back row, obscured by the shelf above it. I do my bit, by moving the copies to the front, whenever I go in for a browse! Back copies, except issues 1 & 2 (sold out), may be obtained at £4.50 each (postage paid), from the publisher at:

Cricket at Buckingham Palace

The Daily Mail contains a regular feature entitled ‘An Inspector Calls’. The item is a critique of a hotel or inn by the anonymous inspector who, on 26 March 2016, focused on No. 11 Cadogan Gardens in the poshest area of London. It was so upper class that the report included a reference to the hotel being built‘on a site that once upon a time was Buckingham Palace’s cricket ground’. My curiosity was aroused. Was this a ground, hitherto unknown to the general populace, where royalty played in total privacy? I sent off an email to the powers that be and received a reply from a curator who thought my appeal ‘very interesting’, but could offer no further help. Undaunted, I decided to go for broke and posted a letter to the top man, sensing that if any member of the present day royal family had such knowledge, it would be the Lord’s Taverners’ permanent Twelfth Man. I think the inspector mixed up his princes, for I am sure that the site referred to in the article was Princes’ Cricket Ground, situated close by and named after the two brothers who developed it. Does any reader have any other thoughts on the subject? I fielded a phone call from Prince Philip’s private secretary, who said that the Prince does not comment on press items and added that he had no knowledge of a cricket ground being located in the grounds of Buck House. So, Princes’ Square it must have been.

Plea for Early Film Material

Mike Fiddler is a film producer is on a mission to track down the earliest examples of cricket on moving film. In its infancy, early film depicted matches in the great expanse with barely recognisable individuals [W.G. Grace’s rotund appearance is identifiable from any distance] Mike, who is the great-grandson of R.E. Foster, harbours the notion that if any such film is be found it may well be in the archives and libraries of private families. Members are kindly requested to look in their attics, contact the archivist of any stately residences in their vicinity and check with their local public records office. In the event of any successful outcome, please contact the editor and I will pass on the information.

Around the Societies

Cheltenham CS – Ken Burney reports: To increase our profile locally in order to retain and recruit members, we promote each monthly meeting via BBC Radio Gloucestershire (at no charge) via their What’s On Guide; we have flyers at our local library and did a three month trial of advertising in “The Local Answer” (£25 per insertion) – a Gloucestershire monthly publication with a 200,000 circulation. We considered it worthwhile as it generated several enquiries which resulted in five new members.   We also have a cricket quiz in January. We continue to use our website and group e-mail facilities to keep members informed. I aim to have our 2016/17 programme of eight speakers finalised before our AGM in May 2016 so that members are informed and, hopefully, will renew!

Essex CS – Sally Scroggs reports: Due to the rising cost of hiring facilities for meetings at the County Ground in Chelmsford, the Society has been forced to find a new venue. Henceforth, meetings of Essex Cricket Society will be held out of town at Chelmer Park, the home of Chelmsford CC. The address is Beehive Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford CM2 8RL.

Leicestershire CS – Phil Veasey reports: On 22 November this year the Professional Cricketers’ Association along with Leicestershire CCC are jointly hosting a play detailing the life of England cricketer. Colin Milburn. ‘When the Eye Has Gone’ is a one-man show that has been written by James Graham-Brown, the former Kent and Derbyshire all-rounder turned playwright, and is being produced by Live Wire/Roughhouse Theatre in association with the Professional Cricketers’ Association. The play is set in the ‘North Briton’ pub in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham on February 28 1990, the last day of Milburn’s life, during his cabaret performance as ‘Jolly Ollie’, the character he had developed to conceal his insecurities and suffering. Milburn, whose brilliant career was cut short by the loss of the sight in his left eye in a car accident in May 1969, died in the pub’s car park, aged 48, after he drifted into chronic alcoholism. Tickets for the performance at Fischer County Ground, Leicester (otherwise known as Grace Road) are priced at £10 and £8 for concessions (booking fee is included in this price). Tickets can be purchased at:  All money raised from the ticket sales goes to the PCA Benevolent Fund.

Worcestershire Memorabilia Day

Stallholders numbering a baker’s dozen attended the sixth annual WCCC Memorabilia Day held in the Chestnut marquee on Oak Apple Day. The date coincided with the first day of the Championship match against Gloucestershire. Most of the arrangements had been made by Mike Niccoll, who sadly died in April. However, Tim Jones, Chairman of the Heritage Trust, ensured all went smoothly on the day. The weather was perfect for cricket, which meant that business was confined to the hour before play began plus the lunch and tea intervals. This was the third year I had attended as a seller and on each occasion, I was very pleased with the outcome. The day provided an ideal opportunity to show and sell items to genuine collectors of cricketana. This was not a day to sell books by Bird, Botham, Flintoff, Parkinson and the like. Modern-day Wisdens too were shunned, as interested customers had want lists of mainly pre- WW2 copies. I was particularly pleased to contact beforehand a past purchaser of cricket prints, who bought on the day another Victorian print for his ‘cricket room’!

Gloucestershire Memorabilia Day

Ken Burney sent this report about the second GCCC Cricket Memorabilia Day held on Sunday 22 May 2016. The particular date was chosen because it coincided with the GCCC former players’ Reunion Day and was the first day of the Championship match versus Northants. The event was organised by Sarah Blowen of the Gloucestershire Exiles and the proceeds were in aid of the GCCC Heritage Trust. I left Cheltenham at 8am, in broad sunshine and the weather was the same on arrival at Bristol. It took me about 45 minutes to set up my stall which included books, brochures, cigarette cards, DVD’s, FDC’s, photographs, porcelain, postcards, pictures, prints and programmes. There were about half a dozen stallholders all of whom were familiar to me. There was a wide range of memorabilia being sold. Unfortunately, rain arrived around 10am and cricket wasn’t possible until 2.30pm, which was good for business as frustrated cricket followers bought memorabilia! Some interesting questions and conversations were had with it being clear that there were some serious cricket enthusiasts around. I sold a wide range of my items and even had some time to buy some memorabilia which included a 1933 annual which had some amazing information and news from the Bodyline tour, a couple of books and two lovely Gilbert Jessop pictures. I have already put my name down for next year’s Memorabilia Day! Memorabilia Sale raises huge sum for Gloucs Heritage Trust Further to Ken’s report, Sarah Blowen tells how the Gloucestershire Memorabilia Day came about: Following in the footsteps of our neighbours at Worcestershire, Gloucestershire CCC hosted an annual memorabilia sale at the Brightside County Ground in Bristol. The idea stemmed from the Gloucestershire Exiles’ organisation, as chairperson Sarah explains: The Exiles was founded in the 1970s to bring together supporters living outside the county and to raise funds for the club. We were left an extensive collection of memorabilia by our founding chairman the late Vincent Coronel and decided that the best way to make it available to Gloucestershire fans and collectors was to hold a sale. Other sellers and dealers joined us and we had a hugely successful day. Now in its second year, the sales have made over £3,000 for the GCCC Heritage Trust, which is in the process of creating a new Museum & Learning Centre at the County Ground.

Save Our Counties Petition

I hope that all societies are aware of the changes proposed by the ECB which are planned to come into effect in 2018. The main point of concern is the plan to restructure T20 as a group of eight regional teams, which are likely to play at the Test venue in the respective areas. It doesn’t take a genius to take the idea further and envisage the same format applying to other parts of the game, not least of which would be the threat to four-day cricket. What can be done? Nothing perhaps as far as T20 cricket, because the die has been cast. However, it is opportune for lovers of the traditional county game to express their views and sign the petition which has been set up and is now attracting support – but at present, it is nowhere near enough. The views of members of individual societies are most important and are needed urgently to make those money men in suits realise the strength of feeling that the traditional game attracts – even if it is not entirely obvious by attendance levels! To join the petition, simply go to

Where Are They Now?

In an attempt to trace the whereabouts of certain cricketers of yesteryear, I shall be pleased if anyone can inform me of the present location of three former England cricketers. One is pace bowler David Larter, formerly of Northamptonshire. I am also keen to trace the whereabouts of the two Richardson brothers, Peter (who left Worcestershire to play for Kent) and his brother Derek, better-known as Dick. If anyone knows the location of any of the trio, I shall be pleased to receive the relevant contact details. After he stopped playing, David returned to Inverness to run the family transport business. Recent enquiries indicate that he sold the business and is thought to have moved to the Yorkshire area. Can anyone help? He is one of fifteen cricketers who played in the Birmingham League for Stourbridge CC and also won Test honours. The club celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2017 and our Society intends to honour the cricketers by way of donating a framed photograph of each man to the club, in order to create a Test Gallery, and will publish a commemorative booklet with a pen portrait of each individual. * David Larter is one of eight Scottish-born cricketers to have played at Test level. Who are the other seven? The answers are on the end page together with Stourbridge’s famous XV.   D’Oliveira – three generations, Brett D’Oliveira is the third generation of the family to represent Worcestershire at first-class level. He is clearly not overawed by the burden of expectation placed upon him, as in May 2016 he emulated his father and grandfather by scoring a double hundred. Although instances of three generations of a family playing first-class cricket are not uncommon (think Compton, Cowdrey*, Hutton, Pollock et al), the triple double hundred feat of the D’Oliveira family is thought to be unique. The respective innings, all for Worcestershire are: Grandfather   Basil 227 v Yorkshire 1974 at Hull, Father Damian 237 v Oxford University 1991 at Oxford, Grandson Brett 202* v Glamorgan 2016 at Cardiff.   Four generations of Cowdreys played first-class cricket

Can I Speak?

The following persons have informed me that they are interested in speaking to cricket societies:

Mark Rowe is the author Brian Sellers – Yorkshire Tyrant. The biography is due to be published next year and Mark is available in autumn 2017. He has also written The Victory Tests and is based in Burton- on-Trent, Staffordshire. His email address is

Scott Reeves is the author of The Champion Band: The First English Cricket Tour. It’s about the tour of 1859 to Canada and the United States. Scott also runs Chequered Flag Publishing. He is based in Sheffield and can be contacted via

Please mention the Council of Cricket Societies if and when making contact.

Book Reviews

FOREVER CHANGES by Dave Allen       ISBN 9 781905 597680

The author has set out to express his views that many supporters of the longer format of county cricket definitely will share. As Hon. Archivist of Hampshire, and a life member of the county club, he is well- placed to enumerate the numerous changes that have been introduced since 1959, which was the year when he attended his first match – against Surrey in his hometown of Portsmouth. Like many other ‘out grounds’, the venue is now surplus to requirements. The book is not a release of pent-up frustrations, but a reasoned, structured review, with each decade allocated its own chapter. Forever Changes thus also serves as a handy, though not exhaustive, overview of each season. Nowadays the word ‘reorganisation’ generally involves a reduction in the County Championship. Allen is not alone in wondering what lies in store for red ball cricket. He cannot provide the answers, but that does not stop him asking the questions. This is a recommended read for those who care passionately about cricket. All profits generated will be donated to the Cage4All cricket charity. The softback book (249 pages), is available from Amazon or direct from

LAHORE TO LONDON by Younis Ahmed     ISBN 9 780993 215261

Books related to Pakistan cricket are not often available in English shops. Hence, Younis’s autobiography, published in Sheffield, is warmly welcomed. It is a pity that his career is remembered more for his run-ins with his various counties (which he does not duck) rather than the runs he scored, which included 46 first-class centuries. He writes candidly about his experiences and describes the hierarchy of Pakistani cricket, in which sport and politics most definitely are entwined. Constitutionally, the President of the country is Patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and can and does take an active interest, often intervening when they feel the need to do so. Thus the power struggles of politics are reflected in abrupt changes in the leadership in the administration of cricket. The hardback book is a fascinating read, but with a price tag of £20, it is let down by the quality of the photographs. The book is available from retailers or order direct:

Appeal for Future Content

News items from societies are most welcome as a six monthly newsletter is very difficult to compile. Ideally, the newsletter should be issued more frequently because this issue, like the previous edition, has had to be rewritten as items originally thought to be of possible interest lost their relevance and importance six months later. I would appreciate receiving the views of the huge silent majority as to how they wish to see the newsletter presented in the future. Three issues a year is probably the ideal answer, but only if content is forthcoming. Therefore, I reiterate my plea for material from your society for inclusion in future issues. Please submit contributions (photographs welcome if relevant) by email to: By the same token, individual societies are at liberty to circulate this newsletter amongst their membership if they so wish.

Scottish-born Test Cricketers

The eight England players, born north of the border are: Mike Denness, Gavin Hamilton, Alex Kennedy, David Larter, Gregor McGregor, Ian Peebles, Eric Russell and Peter Such.

Stourbridge’s famous XV are:

Ted Arnold, Tip Foster, Dick Howorth, Roly Jenkins, Don Kenyon, Martin Horton, Peter Richardson, Derek Richardson, Jack Flavell, Glenn Turner and Imran Khan – all of whom played for Worcestershire. Although lacking a wicket-keeper, it’s a pretty decent team! Other Stourbridge players who played at Test level, but for other counties are: W.G. Quaife (Warwickshire), David Larter, Philip DeFreitas (Leicestershire, Lancashire & Derbyshire) and Simon O’Donnell (Northumberland & Australia)

The Last Word

We look forward to another excellent winter programme of interesting speakers up and down the country. Sincere thanks are owed to the various individuals who are tasked with making contact, negotiating terms, possibly arranging accommodation, confirming arrangements, reminding speakers of the event, finding eleventh-hour replacements, reserving a parking spot, providing a meal, welcoming, hosting, introducing and, ultimately, making sure they get paid. And after that’s all done, there are usually at least five more months to repeat the exercise. To the Speaker Secretaries throughout the land, on behalf of the societies’ 3,000-odd members – thank you!







Spring 2016

The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Council             

or any individual cricket society

The future of first-class cricket

Serious concern has been expressed by many individuals at various society meetings and also in print regarding the side-lining of traditional cricket in recent years. The CCS is fortunate in having the opportunity to raise such issues at its yearly get-together with the ECB, but judging by the outcome of last December’s meeting, the diminution of four-day cricket is virtually a fait-accompli.  In response to our delegates’ questions, Alan Fordham (ECB Operations Manager) painted a less than rosy picture about the future of the first-class game. AF explained that the current round of fixtures had most County Championship (CC) matches Sunday to Wednesday – travel/training Thursday depending on where the CC match took place; T20 on Friday – travel/training Saturday then commence the next CC game on Sunday. This was both exhausting and challenging to swap between the white ball cricket and the red ball cricket. In future some days will have to be removed from the overall schedule and this will inevitably lead to less Championship Cricket. If there were to be a change in the number of Championship matches, a decision would need to be made before the start of the 2016 season as to whether the two divisions would be better split with 8 teams in the First (Premier?) division and 10 in the Second (First?) division. The reason the decision would have to be made before the start of this season is that if that system were adopted it would be two teams relegated this year and only one promoted. It appears that the other elephant in the room question, frequently put forward, of amalgamating neighbouring counties was not discussed at the meeting. Clearly, money is the prime consideration. Although many cricketers prefer to play the four-day format, they would rather not do so in front of the proverbial one man and his dog. Unfortunately, the larger crowds generated by T20 and one-day cricket appear to have little interest in the game’s more longer and more fascinating formats.

For more details of the meeting, see notes previously circulated by the Secretary to societies.

The Future of Test Cricket

If the four-day game is diluted further, how is the future of Test cricket likely to be affected? Apart from Tests in England, attendances elsewhere have dropped alarmingly in recent years. Matters have not been helped by Pakistan, due to circumstances entirely beyond their control, having to play their matches – home and away – outside their country thereby losing the presence of thousands of fervent supporters. India, now a financial powerhouse in the game, generates more than enough money through broadcasting revenue from its IPL, to not worry about the drastically dwindling attendances in their home Test matches. Test cricket in the Caribbean appears to be affected by other attractions and the defection of star players to the lure of the rupee. Grounds in South Africa for the recent series against England were far below capacity, despite tickets costing the equivalent of a fiver. Most telling is the fact that England’s matches in South Africa barely received a mention on terrestrial television, never mind any highlights. The argument that there was insufficient editing time available due to the closeness of the two countries time zones does not hold water. If there is no free-to- watch television exposure of Test cricket, the five-day version of the game soon will be heading the same way as the traditional British pub!

South Africa v. England

I don’t profess to be fully aware of each and every one of the Test matches that are played nowadays, but this Test did raise a couple of points of interest. This was the third occasion that England and their respective opponents have each scored in excess of 600 runs in the first innings. Can you recall the their matches? No prizes! Answers are shown on the end page. There were three other items of note. Firstly, the maiden Test hundred scored by Temba Bavuma. He made his debut for South Africa against West Indies on Boxing Day 2014 and, some say, has retained his place somewhat fortunately due to the country’s selection policy to encourage more black Africans to play cricket. Therefore Temba had added pressure to contend with – he is the first black African to be selected as a batsman – and he has suffered from a run of low scores – his highest innings prior to Cape Town was 54 made against Bangladesh in Chittagong. But at Newlands, Bavuma came good and made an unbeaten 102 – and, more to the point, he received much favourable comment and praise. It is to be hoped his innings will prove to be an inspiration for others to follow. In the fourth and final Test, at Centurion, 20 year-old Kagiso Rabada achieved match figures of thirteen for 144. Had he conceded 13 fewer runs, he would have bettered Makaya Ntini’s performance a decade ago against West Indies. Finally, the performance of Stephen Cook, son of Jimmy the superb former Transvaal and Somerset opener, defies explanation. How does a man with a highest first-class score of 390 and 35 (now 36) hundreds to his credit have to wait until his 34th year before making his Test debut?

A Century-old Record Falls

The highest recorded individual innings of 628 not out, made by Arthur Collins in 1899 in a junior house match at Clifton College, has been broken. In a two-day match at Kalyan, India on 4-5 January 2016, Ghandi English School defeated Arya Gurukul Secondary School by an innings and 1,382 runs! Gurukul batted first and were all out for 31. By close of play on the first day, Ghandi had replied with 956 for one! Next day, the declaration came at 1,465 for three, opening batsman Pranav Dhanawade, aged 15, had 1,009 runs to his credit. During his innings of 396 minutes, he faced 327 balls from which he hit 59 sixes and 129 fours. The dispirited opponents’ second innings fared little better than their first effort as they were dismissed for 52. That said, matters might have been much worse, but for an eighth wicket partnership which rescued the team from a perilous 10 for seven.
Lt. Arthur Collins (Royal Engineers), aged 28, was killed in action at Ypres on 11 November 1914.

Around the Societies

Essex Cricket Society


Many thanks to Sally Scroggins, Essex Cricket Society’s secretary, who sent this picture which was drawn and painted by her predecessor, the late Alan Saywood, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essex Cricket Society in 1999. The pavilions illustrated are those used by the County since 1974. Surrounding the pavilion at Chelmsford, they are clockwise from top right: Leyton, Colchester, Ilford, Westcliff and Southend. Might this be an idea for other societies to raise funds? I am sure there is a proficient artist to be found in most societies! Readers will have to take my word for it that in the left-hand bottom corner, it indicates this copy was No.173 of 200 copies while Alan’s signature appears in the opposite corner.
It is thought that a print of selected pavilions is only likely to appeal if the buildings are attractive in their own right. Cricket pavilions to be found on former out-grounds, villages or schools (those that still play cricket) should make ideal subjects. Consequently the ghastly, impersonal stadiums that have mushroomed across the country are likely to be ruled out. Has your society hit upon a good idea to swell the coffers and also raise interest? If so, please share it with others through this newsletter!
Society Profile
Stourbridge & District Cricket Society
 StourCC (2)
The Stourbridge & District Cricket Society was formed in 1972/3, upon the initiative of the, then, local borough council. Efforts to trace the surviving, near-centenarian Alderman and former Mayor (who are one and the same person) are progressing! Each of the cricket clubs in the local area, irrespective of playing standard, was invited to nominate a member to participate in discussions regarding the formation and future running of the society. One of our present-day members attended that preliminary meeting and can be rightly regarded as ‘the Father of the Society’. He believes the most striking difference between the Society, then and now, is the age of the membership. In the early years, the majority of members were active cricketers or those recently retired from the game – but not from work! The Society launched itself with a formal dinner attended by more than seventy people. The 3- course meal cost the princely sum of £1.50 and the principal guests were former MCC President, Viscount Cobham, plus R.E. Bird and Don Kenyon, both former Worcestershire captains. The Society’s first two guest speakers were Hugo Yarnold and Rachel Heyhoe-Flint. Thereafter the winter programme assumed the pattern of six monthly meetings, which since 2004/05 was expanded to the present level of seven. Initially meetings were held in a local pub, but are now held in the pavilion of Stourbridge Cricket Club (shown above). Annual excursions are also arranged to places of cricket
interest. The society’s membership currently numbers Nelson, with attendance at meetings averaging in the  mid 70s, which often means standing room only! However, in 1991, the membership had nose-dived to 37, despite the annual subscription costing only £5! The present-day fee is £15, which is reduced by £3, for payment in advance of the first meeting of the winter programme. The Society has been fortunate in having the support not only of Club and Council, but also of Worcestershire CCC. The Society’s first President was Stourbridge-born Don Kenyon who was succeeded by all-rounder Martin Horton, both former Worcestershire and England players. The position is currently held by former S&DCS chairman, Dave Nicklin. Over the years, the Stourbridge ground, which is located at Amblecote, formerly in Staffordshire, provided the setting for 61 first-class matches played by Worcestershire. It was the County’s first venue for a home match, not played at New Road, in 1905. The result was an emphatic innings victory in two days against                       Leicestershire. Fred Bowley (217) and Ted Arnold (134) top scored in a total of 457.
Arnold then took nine for 112 in the match, helping to dismiss the visitors for 137 and 113.
In 1909, Kent’s Frank Woolley (185) and Arthur Fielder (112*) added 235 runs for the 10th wicket, against Worcestershire, which over a century later is still the British record last wicket partnership. It was Fielder’s one and only first-class century and the first ever by a number eleven in the County Championship. The record provides Stourbridge with probably its only mention in Wisden! The final first-class game played at Stourbridge began on the day of the royal wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana in 1981. Northamptonshire were on the receiving end of a hundred before lunch in 98 minutes by Glenn Turner, who promptly scored another century in the second innings. Of all the first-class counties, Worcestershire is one of the smallest in terms of population yet is able to support two thriving cricket societies – the fact that Stourbridge is no longer in the shire of
Worcester is a wrong that few people support.
Tell us about your Society!
Articles of 500-750 words (with j.peg picture if possible) should be sent to
Wise Words from the Past
Whilst researching details about cricket of yesteryear, I came across some words attributed to Lord Harris, Kent’s great patriarch. He opined: ‘Cricket has done more to consolidate the Empire than any other influence, and it is certainly the means of consolidating agreeable friendships and originating pleasant reunions. Cricket is not only a game, but a school of the greatest social importance’. Despite the fact we no longer have an Empire, I feel the rest of his words embrace much, if not all of what individual cricket societies, and especially the Council of Cricket Societies, represent. Perhaps his sentiments might be reworded and thus become part of the Council’s statement of belief.
Personally, I count myself fortunate, over many years, to have made – and retain – more friendships through cricket, than any other sport or association. Long may the game flourish!
This newsletter depends on the snippets of news, views, fund-raising ideas and any other cricket items of interest that member societies are able to provide. Personally, I think a gap of six months between issues is much too long. Some items originally intended for inclusion have been discarded due to loss of topicality. However, if newsletters are to be
issued quarterly, contributions from societies and / or individual members will be paramount. An appeal is made for your society’s profile plus any other contributions – news, views, or any ideas of interest to other societies – should be typed (as a Word.doc attachment) and forwarded to
One last thought! Rather than being appended to the Minutes of the CCS’s half-yearly meetings, the individual society reports perhaps would be better suited for inclusion in the newsletter.
Views on that idea will be welcome!

600 Runs-plus Answers

The first-ever instance of two teams each scoring 600 runs in a Test match occurred in 1964. In reply to Australia’s 656-8 declared (RB Simpson 311, WM Lawry 106, BC Booth 98), England achieved an all out total of 600 precisely (KR Barrington 256, ER Dexter 174; GD McKenzie 7/153). The second occasion occurred in 2008/09 when West Indies posted 749-9 declared (Sarwan 291, Randin 166; Swann 5/165). England could not improve on the previous example and scored 600-6 declared (Strauss 142, Bopara 104, Collingwood 96, Cook 94, Ambrose 76*). Pietersen (41) and Shah (7) failed to cash in. There have been two other matches, both involving Sri Lanka – against Pakistan in 2009 and India in 2010. Eighty-seven years elapsed before the first occurrence, a further four decades until the second example and then, like London buses of old, three more came along in the next seven years.



CCS News                                         October 2015

The occasional Newsletter of the  Council of Cricket Societies

First Over

In the last edition, I wrote ‘In view of Australia’s bowling attack . . . . it will be interesting to see whether England’s lead [in terms of home wins] can be maintained, let alone increased’. I don’t think anyone foresaw just how inept the Australians’ batting (Lord’s and Oval excepted) in English conditions would prove to be. None but the most fervent of England supporters expected Alastair Cook’s team to regain the Ashes in such dramatic fashion.

CCS Website

Phil Veasey is preparing to launch the re-designed website. The site provides the opportunity for the inclusion of brief details of each society’s programme of speakers for 2015/16. Each meeting can be included on the calendar. Individual societies are asked to email with details of speakers without delay.

Society Profiles

Individual societies are invited to submit a feature about their achievements and activities for  inclusion in this newsletter. It is hoped that such accounts will be of interest to others to read about your society’s past and present plus amusing episodes. Rather than listing individual speakers, it may be preferable to include one or two favourite raconteurs. Besides referring to basic information (year formed, venue, fixed days of meetings, membership etc) societies are encouraged to make reference to specific projects, such as awards, sponsorship, or youth schemes that individual societies may organise or support. It is planned to feature one society in each edition of this newsletter, but it cannot be done without your help. There is no deadline for submissions.
Send your feature to either contact address:

Post:   Anthony Collis, 34a Chawn Hill, Stourbridge DY9 7JB

Ashes Overdose

And so a topsy-turvy Ashes “limped to a close”, said Jonathan Liew in the Daily Telegraph. England lost the final Test to Australia by an innings and 46 runs – but it hardly mattered, as they had already won the series. And if, by the end, it was clear that this was not a “vintage” Ashes, that’s because “a certain fatigue” has set in. Encounters between England and Australia once seemed special: they had a sense of novelty, of “new enmities being forged”. But this was the third Ashes series in two years.

Less than three years into his Test career, Joe Root has already played Australia a staggering 14 times.

No wonder players and supporters alike are fed up.
It’s  time for a break!

Fatigue Factor

Domestic cricketers want to reduce the amount of cricket they play in order to improve the standard, according to a study released by the players’ union. In the survey of 240 Professional Cricketers’ Association members, a representative said the “schedule is ridiculous” while another claimed it was “actually unsafe”. Another member said some “felt like zombies” at times, “either waking up to play or waking up and being in the car travelling”. The England and Wales Cricket Board are currently reviewing the domestic game. Currently, each of the 18 counties is scheduled to play 16 four-day games, eight 50-over matches and 14 Twenty20 games – not taking into account later rounds of knockout competitions. That amounts to almost 90 days of cricket between April and September (163 days).

The key findings from the study are:

  • 98.3% of players believe Test cricket remains the pinnacle of the sport
  • The County Championship should remain the premier domestic competition, and the format should only be changed to incorporate a “ significantly better overall schedule ”
  • The Twenty20 competition should revert to being played in a block
  • The 50-over competition is seen as less important and of lower quality [BBC and PCA websites]

CCS members are invited to express their views on the survey’s findings.

Pakistan Twenty 20 or ‘Money, Money, Money’

An inaugural Twenty20 Pakistan Super League will be held in Qatar next year. The Pakistan Cricket Board says forty foreign players from all test-playing countries, except India, have expressed an interest. The tournament will take place from 4-24 February 2016 in Doha and will feature five teams playing for a prize of $1-million. It will take place in Qatar because of a lack of venues in Doha, the home of Pakistan cricket since 2009. [BBC]

Another Quiet Man

I was saddened to learn recently of the death of a cricketer who many people probably would not readily describe as ‘a quiet man’. During my tenure as founder and chairman of the sadly now defunct Cricket Society of South Africa, I was privileged to meet a number of top cricketers, all of whom were only too willing to talk cricket to the fledgling Society. One such person was Clive Rice. He was a quiet man, who was as hard as nails on the field and a fine leader of men. He had to be. The Transvaal side of the early-mid 1980s almost burst at the seams with stars such as Jimmy Cook, Alvin Kallicharran, Graeme Pollock, Kevin McKenzie, Neal Radford, Vince van der Bijl and later on Sylvester Clarke – not forgetting the skipper himself. His Transvaal colleague, Neal Radford has kindly provided the following tribute to his former captain: Ricey, as he was nicknamed, was the ultimate professional in his time. Tenacious, gutsy, tough, uncompromising, competitive and driven, he gave no quarter and asked for none when he crossed the ropes. Winning was the only goal, and finishing second meant you were last in his book. He was certainly the best player never to play Test cricket, with a career comprising 26,000 runs at an average of 40, and 930 wickets at 22. He was the best captain I have played under and I am sure the rest of the ‘Mean Machine’ squad are devastated by his death. The Transvaal team formed a real brotherhood and through excellence, dominated the domestic scene for a decade under Ricey’s captaincy – the finest side I had the privilege of playing for! No player let the others down – if Ricey said 5pm at the Wanderers’ nets, no one arrived later than 4:30pm, such was the respect the guys had not just the captain, but for each other. Ricey – R.I.P.


Essex C.S. – Their summer newsletter contained a warm tribute to Alan Saywood, who died, aged 83, in April 2015. Alan joined the committee in 1999 and took over as Secretary and Vice-Chairman two years later. Alan contracted polio shortly after he was born, which left him wearing callipers on his weakened legs, but he never let his disability impair him. He had a long career with Fords as a design engineer and developed a passion for fast cars, winning many rallying events in his younger days. On one of his journeys to CCS meetings at Edgbaston, he found himself on the M6 toll road [easily done – Ed.] and managed to sweet-talk his way out of paying the toll at the first exit. Alan was an artist of repute. He produced an excellent painting of the County’s first-class cricket pavilions to commemorate Essex C. S’s 25th anniversary in 1999 and the limited edition prints raised a considerable sum for the Society’s funds.

lan’s failing health caused him to resign from the committee in December 2014.

This abridged report first appeared in ‘Willow Talk’ – the newsletter of Essex Cricket Society.

Cotswold Cricket Museum

Andy Collier, curator of the Museum, has had to declare innings closed (temporarily it is hoped) on his labour of love. The first-floor attraction relied on the revenues of the ground-floor teashop. A visitor information centre was introduced to encourage footfall, but failed to attract enough additional visitors – and thereby generate vital extra revenue – for the museum’s sustainability.


To date Phil Veasey reports that twelve survey replies have been returned, for which many thanks. The brief survey form was sent out with the last newsletter.

The prime purpose of the questionnaire is to ensure the CCS has up-to-date information in order that the Council’s redesigned website is as accurate and informative as possible. The other reason for the survey is to obtain information that may be shared and, if considered appropriate, introduced by individual societies.

Despite the small sample processed so far, a number of interesting points have arisen. These include:

  • 2 Societies meet in the daytime with one holding meetings on Saturday afternoons
  • 3 Societies are active on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc)
  • 3 Societies present annual awards to local clubs / cricketers
  • 7 Societies arrange regular dinners
  • 8 Societies are featured on their local County Club websites with two Counties providing valuable support by including Society leaflets with their mailshots

If you have not returned your Society’s details, it will be much appreciated if you can do so as soon as possible.


As editor, I shall strive to ensure that the contents of the newsletters fulfil most if not all of the following criteria. Each edition needs to be interesting, lively and relevant to the readership.

It must be accepted however that due to long periods between issues the contents do not always chime with topicality.

Contributions from individual societies, snippets of interesting local news that may have eluded the national press plus ideas as to how the appeal of cricket societies may be broadened to attract new members are always welcome.

Final Over

CCS’s half-yearly meeting will be held on Saturday 7 November 2015 at the County Ground, Derby. The guest speaker will be Mike Newell, Director of Cricket – Nottinghamshire CCC.

An official notice together with lunch arrangements will be circulated separately.

As the 2015/16 winter season is about to commence, it is appropriate to salute the superb efforts of various unsung people who identify, contact, arrange, negotiate, hire, meet, welcome, entertain and introduce the guest speakers. Occasionally, they also have to find replacements at very short notice. Thank you! Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

In view of recent results, moves are afoot to reduce the number of playing days from five to three for each Test match played in England against Australia. Reliable sources say that the trophy to be contested, under the new playing arrangement, will be known as The Cinders

The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Council of Cricket Societies