Apr il 2011
T he For ty Club 1936-2011, 75 Year s in the M ak ing 75 years ago, in 1936, Henry Grierson had an idea. "I felt that if it were possible to raise a sufficient number of fellows of 40 years and over who were reasonably good players, we might be sharp enough to handle some of the schools." The batting he thought would be "adequate", he had "some qualms" about the fielding and as for the bowling he thought "that if the professionals joined us, the bowling would be good enough for what he had in mind". The first XI that Grierson raised played Wellingborough School in 1936 as an additional fixture on the school card. Following the after-match meeting in The Angel Hotel, enthusiasm grew. The Forty Club was born and the following year played its first 'official' match, again against Wellingborough L unch at the H ouse of L or ds School. The 75 Anniversary Year celebrations started with an excellent luncheon at the House of Lords on 26 January organised by the Club Secretary and hosted by Lord Brooke and Lord Naseby. 118 members met in the Cholmondeley Rooms at the House of Lords, and after the noisy and back-slapping pre-lunch drinks as members from all over the country renewed acquaintances, they took their lunch looking out th
over the Thames. Short and witty speeches from Peter Brooke (left) and Michael Naseby (at the lectern, right) were well received and enjoyed, and an excellent afternoon was had by all. A great start to the 75th Anniversary Year !
Nor thwest Sunday Best North West District held their annual winter Lunch at Rawtenstall CC. Rawtenstall is a founder member of the famous Lancashire League, steeped in its history, and continues to thrive in the competitive cricket arena where inter league club rivalries are as strong as ever. Former Rawtenstall pros include Aussies Terry Jenner and Michael Bevan, Franklyn Stephenson from the West Indies and Kiwi Nathan McCullum. This was NW District’s first opportunity to toast the Forty Club in its 75th Anniversary year and district chairman Tony Fare welcomed over 50 members and guests including Ken Medlock, one of the club’s elder statesmen along with Cricket Coordinator Richard Evans. Tony Fare also presented NW District’s Player of the Year award to John Sharples. At 60+ John is still very competent and competitive behind the stumps and is the type of person who will never let a match manager down in a crisis; indeed he does more than his fair share of that job himself. John played in most of the 2010 fixtures and even managed to play against his own district after a last minute cry off for Scotland at the Northern Festival.
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XL SPRI NG 2011 T OU R T O H ONG KONG & AU ST RAL I A (report adapted from Peter Hartland’s tour report) One of the early 75 anniversary events was celebrated in February and March with a 3½week tour to Hong Kong and Australia. Marking 20 years of overseas tours, it was the club’s 3rd trip to Australia and second to Hong Kong. For the first time ever we had players from all XL districts, including two DCs, and we were reinforced by our friends from Holland and Denmark. The party also included umpires and scorers, organised with customary efficiency by Barry Aitken, and a sizeable contingent of WAGs. th
2 matches in Hong Kong took place in conditions that suited players better than spectators. At HKCC a father and daughter opened their batting and added fifty runs in quick time. XL lost the match falling just 8 runs short. At Kowloon CCon the other hand their middle order saw them home with something to spare. In Sydney, the cricket began at Mosman Oval but XL fell well short of the target despite a nice half century by Geoff Barker. At the impressive Manly Oval, the home openers smashed 55 off the first six overs but XL's bowlers fought back and with some excellent catching, dismissed the Manly Masters for 182. Andy Meads (43) and Tim Moult (41) made a solid start in response, but the Australian fielding was too good and we finished 46 runs short. The match against Lane Cove followed a similar pattern, with XL defeated by 52 runs after a promising start by captain Peter Owens (41) and Geoff Barker (37). Next came two T/ 20s against the Australian Transplant CCat the beautiful King’s Oval at Parramatta. Nearly all our opponents on the day had received organ transplants. XL fielded a different team for each game, winning both narrowly thanks to fine unbeaten knocks by Paul Kenealy (43) and Andy Meads (51). Mike Wicks (2-9) and Andy Jenner (412) were the most successful bowlers. Warringah Masters inflicted the heaviest defeat of the tour. Despite a good allWelsh opening attack of Kenealy and Owens, the home team cut loose to reach 248-8. Skipper Peter Hartland took 3 wickets and Norman Gray held a brilliant low catch at point. Only Paul Kenealy (59) offered much resistance with the bat as XL was dismissed for 137. The Sydney leg of the tour ended with a narrow 9 run defeat at the hands of Cricketers’ Club of New South Wales, with the younger tourists once again demonstrating their worth. Tim Moult and Geoff Barker made classy fifties and fielded superbly, the irrepressible Kenealy hammered 42, while left-arm swinger Bill Slinger’s eardrumshattering appeals were 3 times answered in the affirmative. But for the small matter of five ducks, XL would have won. The first match on the Sunshine Coast against Caloundra CC, a day/ night affair, was extended to two innings a side to enable XL to bat and field under lights. Each first innings used a pink ball, the second a white one. Striking several powerful leg-side blows, skipper Ron Hart made his 25 fastest, followed closely by Douglas Smith. But XL were bowled out for 76 in their second innings under lights and lost by 56 runs. After a welcome beer, Barry Aitken entertained the assembled company with a witty after-match address. The re-scheduled match against a Maroochydore Invitation XI was a domestic affair with only 6 locals playing and resulted in a creditable 6 wicket XL XI victory thanks to Geoff Barker’s 52 and a good spell of spin by Chris Westbrook (3-41). The final match of the tour was fittingly against Matthew Flinders Anglican College, rearranged in T/ 20 format. The boys batted purposefully and fielded brilliantly but XL’s experienced XI gave them a good run for their money before going down by 24 runs. Tim Moult’s 38 against the college confirmed him as the trip’s leading run scorer. While not quite matching the success of Andrew Strauss’s men some weeks earlier, the Forty Club’s tourists generally adapted well to the harder Australian pitches and impressed all their hosts with their cricket as well as their sportsmanship.
Below, left, Robbie Barker on the drive: in the centre XL playing the Transplant CC at Parramatta: and on th right Paul Kenealy bowling.
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T he for ty club newslet ter
XL T OU R T O D U BAI Many Forty Club members may not be aware that there was a second Club tour earlier this year. A “package tour” put together by Hasan Jafri, son of Ali Jafri of AJSports consisted of 8 nights and 5 matches in Dubai. Eastern Counties District Chairman Robert Smith took up the offer and his party flew out on the 6th February. DCs Paul Whittle from South and Tony Sheppard from North East were in the party of 16 and by all accounts it was a cracking good tour. Matches were played on some of the new grounds in UAE, and 3 were day/ night matches with the ‘pyjamas’ being supplied by Hasan. XL won 2 of the 5 matches. XL beat Phoenix CC by 9 wickets, and beat the Sharjah Academy when a Club record was established by Tony Sheppard who returned bowling figures of 23.4—3—60—8. The matches against Friends of Kerala CC(who were also touring in UAE), Dubai Cricket Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket Council were lost. The Kerala match was lost in the last over: XL needed 6 off the last over in the Dubai CC match and just failed; and the Abu Dhabi match was lost largely because the opposition played the UAE opening bat Amjad Ali and coach Qazi Ayub who rather dominated the game! Nevertheless XL’s 250 from 29.4 overs was a very creditable effort. After the tour, Robert Smith wrote to Hasan “ I would like to thank you for arranging what was certainly one of our most successful tours ever, not just from the point of view of winning 2 games out of 5, which is for us old folk a remarkable achievement, but because of the hospitality, excellent venues, well-matched opposition and general efficiency of the tour. Everyone also thought that it was excellent value for 8 nights and 5 games of cricket. 3 of the matches were exciting cliffhangers and even the games which we won and lost more convincingly were great fun. I know that all the tourists, even the ladies, were delighted with how you organised the tour.”
XL NORT H EAST LU NCH AT H EAD I NGL EY On the 13th March this year, NE DCTony Sheppard arranged a lunch in the pavilion at Headingley to mark the Club’s 75th anniversary. Chairman Barrie Hunter rubbed shoulders with Brian Close, Handbook Editor Brian Scovell compared notes with Richard Hutton and some 40 others enjoyed a delightful lunch followed by a Q&A session with the two Brians and Richard. The sun shone warm and bright outside, the Yorkshire pudding was excellent, the pitch was a picture, and all was well with the world! XL vs BL OXH AM SCH OOL , 1939 West Midlands district has nominated this season’s match against Bloxham School as it’s ‘event’ for the 75th Anniversary. The School has responded by electing to set up a display of old photos from previous XL matches. This photo, supplied by Michael Barton, is of the two teams posing before the 1939 match with Sir Jack Hobbs in the centre of the rear rank. Can our readers put names to any of the other faces in the XL side? Answers to the Club Secretary please.
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Where did you play cricket today? Colin neill XL N ew sletter edit or
When the Scotland District played Carradale CC on the south west tip of the Mull of
Kintyre last season it was believed to be the most Westerly fixture played by the Club.
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Gordonstoun is thought to be the Northernmost, so what about furthest East and furthest
The challenge was issued to the DCs and the following interesting responses were made. NW DC Tony Fare wrote “The geographic centre of the UK is considered by many [when
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you include all the islands and Northern Ireland] to be near the hamlet of Dunsop Bridge in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire. NW District plays two fixtures—Myerscough College at Garstang CC just 11 miles away and Giggleswick School about the same distance in the opposite direction. So NW district plays the most central fixtures”. Peter Mason’s contribution was just as interesting “North, south, east or west will always throw up interesting places. This year a joint East Midlands/Eastern Counties match was played at Seas End Hall CC which is 2 metres below sea level on a private ground near Spalding in Lincolnshire Fenland. Is this the lowest ground in the UK? So we have claims for the most northerly, westerly, central and the lowest venues: are there any claims for the most southerly, easterly or even the highest? What suggestions can you offer?
Austr alian Tour 2011 These are some of the “firsts” that Barry Aitken had not seen before in XL cricket: Some XL players warming up before a match, running round the ground and doing exercises. Batsmen punching gloves in the middle of the track between overs. An athletic fielder executing a successful sliding stop to save a certain boundary. A player from every district in the touring party. Andy Meads “ giving it the long handle”. An XL player wearing ‘skins’ under his cricket shirt. XL playing with a pink ball.
Two scenes from the tour to Australia. XL are in the field in the match against the Cricketers Club of New South Wales. Played on the Camperdown Oval in Sydney, on the left Howard Clay is bowling (6-0-35-2) and on the right Bill Slinger (8-1-34-0).