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NCCC Supporters Club
NCCC Supporters Club - WEST STAND STORY
The Official Newsletter of Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club (Founded 1988)
into this newsletter in recent times. This has partly been due to 'spell checker' kicking in and correcting some names which didn't need correcting! I now have another laptop due to the old one deciding that it didn't want to power up any more. Hopefully this will solve this particular problem, but I'm not holding my breath!
I have always thought that any cricket season does not start when the first ball is bowled in April, it actually starts when the fixture list is released. We can now start to plan for 2014. Speaking personally Sunday starts for most County Championship matches are good for me as I should see more Championship cricket – including some away from the County Ground. It will be interesting to see how popular the new 50-over competition is – is it me or haven't we all tried this once before?
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The opinions expressed by the authors of articles in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or Northamptonshire County Cricket Supporters Club.
CROESO Y CYMRU
We had this bloke at work from North Wales (his second name was Jones, surprising). He was in the sheep department, now there was a surprise! ( I won't explain what we did ). He was a rugby player (another surprise!) And when we had some incomprehensible speakers from across the way, we said “would you like to speak in Welsh to someone? Huw come here!!”
I did persuade him one Saturday, when we were short, to come and play cricket with us in the South Northants League against Preston Bissett. He said he had never played cricket before. I told him it was not a problem as half of our team gave that impression. But he would have a nice day out and lots of eggy sandwiches for tea. He came into bat at number 11. I was at the other end for the first ball of the last over. I announced to the other side “this is Huw everybody, he comes from Wales”, they all started going “baa baa”. This was richly ironic as Preston Bissett played in a sheep field, you did not dive to field the ball there and cleaned your boots at the end of the game. The wicket though was one of the best. You can have a joke with the Welsh (I lived there for five years), unlike certain people from the other side of the wall. Huw played the first ball with a classic defensive forward stroke and the second. I said “we do not have time for this mate” he then got a single and then I damaged the sight screen over the bowlers head with the fourth ball.
We got over 200 but PB were on 70-1, and were knocking the ball all over the place. One of their batsman then cut the ball powerfully. Now if you are 6ft. 3ins. and are used to tackling 16st rugby players coming at you at 100mph, a little pink cricket ball does not pose much of a threat . He took off and made the most stunning catch I have ever seen, full length with both hands. Can you remember Gordon Banks against Brazil from Pele in 1970? It was up there. Jonty Rhodes eat your heart out. We won the game just after 7pm. Huw was the beginning of the end. “Fancy a game next week Huw, you can go in at number 7?” “No, we start rugby training next week” Such is life.
Talking of the Welsh playing cricket, can you name the only county, I am told, who flew to a home game in an aeroplane? It was nearer to Lancashire, as well. Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay out ground? Am I right in thinking this?
Sheila Kent has provided me with the following details about the Supporters Club Coffee Morning which took place in November;
“After expenses for the coffee we made a profit of £125.00 which is excellent as there were not as many attending as earlier in the year and it is a disappointment that no member of the Board supported us even though we are continually raising money for the Club”.
As many of you will be aware former Supporters Club Committee Member and long time Supporter of Northamptonshire CCC Alan Hall died in October. I was fortunate enough to watch Twenty20 Finals Day in Alan's company and I am glad that he lived to see the County triumph again. Rest in Peace Alan.
Northamptonshire have confirmed the signing of Australian seam bowler Jackson Bird as overseas player for 2014. The 26 year-old will play 10 Championship and 7 Twenty20 matches for the county. Bird plays his domestic cricket for Tasmania and has taken 109 wickets (average 20.7) in first-class matches. He has made 3 Test Match appearances to date, taking 13 wickets. During the 2013 season he toured England with Australia 'A'.
Former Northamptonshire cricketer Cyril Perkins has died at the age of 102. Wollaston-born Perkins made 56 appearances for the county between 1934 and 1937 – never playing on the winning side. Leaving Northamptonshire he became a stalwart of Suffolk cricket – appearing for the minor county between 1939 and 1967. He is believed to be the first Northamptonshire cricketer to reach his hundredth birthday and only the fourth county cricketer to do so.
The Northamptonshire Sports Awards in November saw David Ripley win the Coach of the Year award . The Steelbacks also won Team of the Year.
The ECB has announced a number of new regulations which will come into effect for the 2014 season. These are as follows;
'Finning'. If a bowler breaks the wicket in the action of delivering the ball this will now be an automatic 'no ball'.
Super Over. In all Twenty20 matches – including the group stages a Super Over will decide the outcome in the event of a tie.
Over Rates. In Twenty20 cricket the time allowed for a batsman to be ready at the crease has been reduced from 90 to 60 seconds.
Drawn County Championship Matches. 5 points (instead of 3) will now be awarded to each side in the event of a draw. 16 points for a win and the bonus point system remain unchanged.
Crease Markings. Alternative colours to white may be used next season subject to successful trials. This is to make the crease more visable to spectators both at the ground and on TV.
Royal London are the new sponsors of both international and domestic one-day matches in England. Playing conditions will be the same in both.
Heavy Roller. A heavy roller, should it be made available, may only be used once by each per team per match for a maximum of seven minutes in LV= County Championship fixtures. However the decision on whether to make a heavy roller available or not will rest with the home team and this will also apply in the one-day competitions. A light roller must always be available.
TV Umpire. At the request of the on-field Umpire at the bowler’s end, the TV Umpire should check for a No Ball – for dismissals only. Additionally waist high full tosses will be reviewed by the Third Umpire at the request of the on-field Umpire at the bowler’s end for dismissals only. Any benefit of doubt should be with the batsman.
Former Northamptonshire batsman Phil Jaques has signed a short term deal with Nottinghamshire for the 2014 season. Jaques, who has also played for Worcestershire and Yorkshire will be with Notts until mid-June covering for Alex Hales
Another former Northamptonshire cricketer – Monty Panesar has signed a two-year deal with Essex with whom he had a loan spell at the end of last season.
Northamptonshire all-rounder David Willey has been forced to return home from the England Performance Programme Squad in Australia due to a lower back injury. The injury appears likely to also rule out his participation in New Zealand's T20 competition in the New Year.
Two counties announced changes to their one-day team name for 2014. Hampshire have dropped 'Royals' from their title whilst Warwickshire are now the Birmingham Bears.
Club captain Stephen Peters has signed a new two-year deal with Northants Cricket. Peters has scored nearly 8000 runs since joining the county from Worcestershire in 2006.
It has been reported that Northamptonshire's Ben Duckett has been dropped from the England Under 19 tour of the United Arab Emirates for failing to meet minimum fitness standards. Northants Cricket Chief Executive David Smith was quoted as saying that there were “no excuses whatsoever” for Duckett's poor fitness. Essex allrounder Kishen Velani has also been left out of the tour for fitness reasons.
Northants Cricket have announced the following ticket prices for the 2014 season;
LV= County Championship. £10 in advance, £14 on the gate, £1 for juniors. After lunch £7.
Royal London One Day Cup (50 overs). £11 in advance, £15 on the gate, £2 for juniors. Family ticket £22
Nat West T20 Blast group matches. £16 in advance, £20 on the gate, £3 for juniors. Family Ticket £32.
Sri Lanka Tourist match. £14 in advance, £16 on the gate, £ 3 for juniors. Family Ticket £28.
Family tickets admit 2 adults and 2 children and must be purchased in advance.
Former Northamptonshire captain and current Durham Head Coach Geoff Cook was “100% fine” and “looking forward to getting back into cricket. The 62 year-old suffered a heart attack in June.
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE v LEICESTERSHIRE 1944
Along with five other lads we cycled along the Harborough Road to Leicester when the county were playing a one day game. During our three-hour journey the sky was full of Dakota aircraft towing gliders towards the south coast. Notices along the road said 'Beware : Low-flying Aircraft.”
We arrived just in time for the start and the county batted first. The details are a bit sketchy but I think we scored about 220.Both teams consisted mostly of serving men and a few local lads.
Towards the end of the game several announcements came over the PA system for men to return back to their units immediately. As a result several subs came on, some in uniform and some in plain clothes. However the game ended with Leicestershire winning by one wicket.
On our way home the aircraft were still flying low from the field at Husbands Bosworth. We arrived home about 10.30 very tired and thirsty.
We all know now what happened not long afterwards on Thursday 6 June.
The lads, in addition to myself (aged 13) were Walt Wills (brother of Roy), Cyril Clark, Gordon Walding, John Clark and John Franks.
Editor: I have obtained the following details from Cricket Archive of this match which took place on 29 May 1944. Northamptonshire: 130 all out (Harris 39, Welton 4-37). Leicestershire: 131-9 (AT Sharp 35, Badcock 6-45). The Northamptonshire team was; Murray-Willis, Partridge, Oliver, Timms, Kingsley, James, Gunn, Badcock, Harris,Bolton, Melluish. Both Badcock and James were former New Zealand Test cricketers. One of the umpires was Claude Woolley.
The day after England subsided from 82 for 2 to 91 for 8 in the Brisbane Ashes test, obviously the knives are out and the Australian press are as savage as ours for different reasons. First test win in a while and sweeter as England were the conquered.
England does badly in the first test of overseas series we are told. The only recent win came in Bangladesh in March 2010 by 181 runs. Otherwise the results are very poor.
Geoff Boycott is one of those leading the charge, labelling some of England’s batting as pathetic. Does he recall his early experiences playing tests in Australia I wonder?
His first tour began with a one day match in Ceylon, on 18th October 1965 and was followed by 11 matches of various kinds before facing the Aussies at Brisbane starting on 10th December.
Compare that to starting with a 3 dayer on October 31st 2013, followed by matches interrupted by rain in Hobart and Sydney before the first test starting 21st November. The opposition has been weaker than it might have been, and the weather has been ideal for the Australians,rain reducing England’s time in the middle.
Whatever coaching techniques and targeted preparation there may have been, time in the middle against serious opposition is vital and England have had very little of it.
I noticed at home in 2010, the schedule gave Pakistan two tests against Australia before they faced England in a 4 match series. Why should the ECB offer advantages to the opposition, when Australia should have had the pleasure of facing a better prepared Pakistan.
Is it the TV schedules which help to put our batsmen at a disadvantage or are the ECB too gentlemanly to risk offending the tourists?
Certainly England batted poorly and Mitchell Johnson’s radar was spot on after a typically wayward start. The bowlers didn’t suffer in the same way. The modern phrase for initial under performing these days is ‘underdone’ or undercooked’. Tours must be arranged to give both teams a fair chance of performing well, otherwise let’s treat the first test as the preparation the tour does not allow.
It’s time for a levellish playing field as there seems to be a natural advantage at home, although South Africa’s 2012 success in England, and England’s subsequent victory in India seems to contradict that.
The Guardian editorial of Saturday 23rd November summed it up beautifully. England’s test cricketers do not play enough first class cricket. Added to the minimal time in the middle on most of their overseas tours, it’s not surprising they take a while to get up a head of steam.
Whatever the figures, touring teams of all nationalities need adequate preparation for the highest form of the game. This is something I’ve believed for quite some time.
ALAN HALL 1942-2013
Alan was always positive and enthusiastic in his support for the county, and for the Cobblers too. He knew his cricket and for many years, chose to sit behind the bowler’s arm, or as close as he could.
I imagine he missed very little home cricket after he retired, and he was not one of those who rejected 20/20 out of hand when it became the latest saviour of English cricket. One of his last days at cricket was the Edgbaston T20 finals day, a day which rewarded Alan for years of patient and loyal support.
Alan was a supporter who often took advantage of the good old days, when the supporters’ club was able to run regular coaches to away matches and the one day finals of the 80s and 90s. He was good company on the coach and at the matches, and offered shrewd judgements of the play and players.
He served on the supporters’ club committee, and was conscientious and diligent, but eventually returned to his usual spot in front of the Ken Turner, so he could follow the cricket more closely.
It’s a cliché but it won’t be the same without him when the 2014 season comes around. I’m sure he was eagerly looking forward to finding out how the ‘new Northamptonshire’ will cope with the first division and retaining the T20 trophy.
Northamptonshire will begin their County Championship Division One campaign against reigning Champions Durham. The match at the County Ground commences on Sunday 13 April. The first Championship away trip of the season will be to Headingley to face Yorkshire one week later.
Leeds will also witness the start of the Steelbacks T20 title defence on Friday 16 May. The first match at the County Ground is a local derby against Leicestershire the following Friday. Finals Day, on Saturday 23 August is again staged at Edgbaston. The competition has also been renamed the NatWest T20 Blast.
The Steelbacks' first match in the new 50 over competition is on Sunday 27 July against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham. The first home match is two days later when Worcestershire visit the County Ground. The Final will be taged at Lord's on Saturday 20 September.
The final Championship match of the season – against Sussex at the County Ground commences on Tuesday 23 September.
Thursday 30 January
Thursday 27 February
Thursday 27 March
To book on a Lunch please call Linda Fisher on 07989844171. Price £11.50
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
In the next edition of West Stand Story we will give details of the date and time of the 2014 Supporters Club AGM. We are hoping to repeat the arrangement of 2013 when we staged our AGM immediately after that of the parent Club. But we will confirm this nearer the time.
A BIG THANK YOU
The Supporters Club would like to say a big THANK YOU to Paul Baker of Watford (Herts) who has kindly donated a number of cricket publications to us. These include various Wisden Cricketers' Almanacks, benefit brochures, yearbooks and magazines. The Chairman and I collected this 'horde' in late November. Thank you again Paul.
Another job for our the Chairman and I was to get our shed ready for the rigours of winter (as best we can). This has involved re-covering the roof and giving the exterior woodwork a new coat of preserver. This work was achieved over two weekends in November.
COACH TRIPS IN 2014
As in previous years the Supporters Club will again be looking to run coach trips to away matches. However, as I have said before, we can only do this with your support. The 2014 Fixture list includes a number of instances where the first day of a Championship match falls on a Sunday and where a T20 match takes place on a Friday night. These offer a number of opportunities to run coaches and it would be nice to think that we can do this.
CURRAN JUNIOR SIGNS FOR SURREY
Tom Curran, the 18 year-old son of former Northamptonshire all-rounder Kevin Curran who tragically died in October last year, has signed a new deal with Surrey which will see him join their staff full time when his education is complete. Tom played in the Memorial Match held for his father which took place at the County Ground last July.