The Book of the Year shortlist has been announced (in alphabetical order by author):
Alan Butcher’s The Good Murunghu; Pitch Publishing
Graeme Fowler’s Absolutely Foxed; Simon & Schuster
Gideon Haigh’s Stroke of Genius; Simon & Schuster
Richard Heller and Peter Oborne’s White on Green: A Portrait of Pakistan Cricket; Simon & Schuster
Emma John’s A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket; Wisden
Mark Nicholas’ A Beautiful Game, My love affair with cricket; Allen & Unwin
A booking form for the Awards Evening can be found in the Members Area
Tickets are selling fast for our spring lunch at The Oval on 31 March. We have expanded capacity at The Oval but over 220 tickets have been sold so members need to book soon to guarantee their places. No doubt the presence of Henry Blofeld "doyen of Test Match Special" and MCC President Matthew Fleming is proving attractive.
Henry Blofeld has very kindly donated some items from his personal collection of cricket books and memorabilia to our raffle. Members will be interested to know that Henry is selling his remarkable collection of books, drawings, prints and ephemera at Chiswick Auctions on Wednesday 1 March. Click here to see the online catalogue.
Lunch booking form can be found in the Members Area.
Click to read Stephen Ransome's report on the February meeting when the guest speaker was Malcolm Pratt.
Hamidullah was not able to attend the Autumn Dinner to receive his AA Thomson Fielding prize in person. So, on 15th December Denise Fielding travelled to her hometown of Derby to present the Award to him. The assembly at Derby Moor Community Sports College was also attended by Derbyshire skipper Wayne Madsen and Steve Stubbings , the First XI Support Coach. Denise told the school a little bit about the Society and the award and that eight members of the England squad in India had won Cricket Society awards.
Pictured above are (L-R): Wayne Madsen, Graeme Smith (Headteacher), Hamidullah Qadri, Denise Fielding, Steve Stubbings.
More photos from the Autumn Dinner Awards presentations can be seen lower down this News page.
A lunch was held on the 18th January to thank Howard Milton for 40 years' service as The Cricket Society Librarian.
Our "day at the cricket" 2017 will be at Worcester on Tuesday 20 June, the 2nd day of the Kent game. The package includes match admission, exclusive use of a hospitality suite, tea/coffee and biscuits on arrival,two course lunch, afternoon tea, scorecard and a private viewing balcony.
The inclusive cost of the day is £50 per person. To secure your place(s) send your cheque made payable to The Cricket Society to Nigel Hancock,Tynrhyd, Llanafan, Aberystwyth SY23 4BD. Please include an email address and also indicate if you will require parking - we have a limited number of parking spaces.
For those travelling down the day before, Phil Reeves our treasurer will arrange a social get together at a suitable hostelry in Worcester on the Monday evening followed by a meal.
You can read about our 2016 day at Taunton further down this News page.
Ben Duckett (Most Promising Young Male Player)
Alex Hartley (Most Promising Young Female Player)
Sam Dorsey (Sir John Hobbs Silver Jubilee Memorial Prize)
Hamidullah Qadri (A A Thomson Fielding Prize) - see also News item higher up this page
Swiss Cottage School (Christopher Box-Grainger Memorial Trophy)
were all presented with their awards at the Autumn Dinner on Friday 4 November.
Guest speakers were Chris Lowe and David Smith. A Dinner report will appear here shortly.
Photos below courtesy Sue Carmichael.
Raf Nicholson accepting Alex Hartley's Award Sam Dorsey accepting his Award from Ken Lake
from Cricket Society Vice president Chris Lowe
Lee Deller (Swiss Cottage School) accepting Phil Evans, winner of the Silent Auction, receiving
the Award from Cricket Society Trust Secretary his prize from guest speaker David Smith
More photographs from the Dinner can be viewed in the Members Area
Our meetings take place at Bath Cricket Club and will start at 2pm, with tea/coffee and biscuits supplied during the interval. Admission is £2, with raffle tickets on sale at £1 each or £3 for a strip of five.
If anybody has something they would like to donate as a raffle prize, that would be greatly appreciated. The quality of the raffle prizes has been impressive at each meeting so far.
Did you know that The Cricket Society was on Twitter?
Well we are and have been for some time. For those of you not familiar with Twitter it is an instant messaging service for mobile smartphones, tablets and PCs. We can send short messages of 140 characters direct to your device. This service is often used by celebrities to document every second of their banal existence but fear not we shall not be bombarding you with such messages. Nor will we be circulating cricket trivia so if you want to see a photo of Jason Roy’s latest tattoo you will have to look elsewhere.
What we shall be doing is sending occasional messages with news about the Society including forthcoming events, speaker bookings, meeting/dinner reminders and the like. We shall also be tweeting live from London meetings including photos. We will pass on interesting snippets from speakers and if an obscure fact comes up we may tweet a little quiz question as we did with the Dean Allen meeting in October. So just a bit of fun really to whet your appetite for the meeting report in the bulletin. You can see the twitter feed on the left hand side of each page on this website.
To be part of this you just need to download the Twitter app or go to Twitter on the internet and follow us at @CricketSociety. You can then receive our tweets and send messages back if you feel so inclined!
Top Left - Somerset CEO Guy Lavender with Vic Marks.
Photo Credit: Mike Dwyer
Report by Phil Reeves:
This year we decided to go west for the second day of the championship match between Somerset and Middlesex at Taunton on Monday 11th July. We had some 38 members and guests attending which made for a very enjoyable trip.
As many of us travelled down to Taunton the night before, the traditional “pint and a curry” social had been organised by yours truly. After extensive online research of city centre pubs I plumped for the Kings Arms which had excellent reviews. On arriving however we found that it was the last day for the departing, rather disgruntled, licensee and, to say the least, customer care was not at its best. We quickly adjourned to another more welcoming hostelry to sample the excellent local ales. Dinner was at the Taj Mahal in Staplegrove Road where they made twelve of us very welcome, the remainder having stayed in the pub to watch the European championship final. Our chairman was earlier in the summer a little worried that if England had got into the final, our curry evening might have to be called off. I however told him that was such an unlikely occurrence that we could discount it.
The following morning, our day started at the cricket with coffee/tea and pastries. We were situated in one of the specially built pavilions which surround the ground and they afford an excellent view of the cricket. We had a total of three suites which gave ample choice to those wishing to sit inside or out or quietly or to have a rolling discussion on cricketing issues. Middlesex were batting which cheered some of us as we were interested to see the fiery Jamie Overton bowl. However he pulled up after just three balls and had to be substituted. The remaining Somerset attack made good progress on a helpful wicket mainly held up at first by Nick Gubbins and then the Australian George Bailey (badly dropped behind early) both before and after lunch.
Our vice-president Vic Marks arrived nice and early for informal chats with members and then took us down to the cricket school balcony where he and the chief executive told us a little about Somerset and the ground. The development over the last 10 years had been considerable and Vic even recalled in the early days there was a greyhound track round the outside. We learnt that there were still some apartments for sale overlooking the ground which it was rumoured cost somewhere in the region of £350,000. Inevitably the talk turned to famous Somerset cricketers such as Botham and Richards who Vic reminded us often competed against each other to see who hit more sixes which didn’t always serve the county’s best interests. In his early days though it was very different as his first day at Somerset he was keen to start playing but encountered a union meeting shop stewarded by Merv Kitchen hunched over an electric fire. He was told that they would not be playing until they had sorted out the petrol money details.
Lunch itself was a delicious rolling buffet of cold meats and vegetarian options. The cricket in the afternoon followed a similar pattern to that of the morning with Middlesex losing regular wickets to some tight seam bowling. Many of us took the opportunity to walk round the ground and view the cricket in the sunshine from other vantage points.
At tea we were treated to a brief talk and then a free tour of the admirable cricket museum in the ground which crammed a great deal of memorabilia into a small space. After such exertions we gratefully retired to our pavilion for tea and scones with cream and jam. The evening session produced some fine exciting cricket and as the wicket eased the Middlesex 9th wicket of James Harris and James Fuller pair put on a record stand (eventually 162) to break the previous record set in 1895. They were extremely important runs as Middlesex went on to win the match on the last day by just two wickets – a very important building brick in their challenge for the championship title.
It was good to see so many members staying until the end but after play hands were shaken and the talk turned to a venue for next year. So watch this space!
Below: Chairman Nigel Hancock with Vic Marks, an enraptured audience, the County Ground and the obligatory pre-match curry night. Photo Credit: Phil Reeves