Monday, November 23, 2009

Cricket lovely cricket

Fido far left, Bedhampton Cricket team 1959.

I'll never know the hours I've spent playing or watching cricket. A lot! I played for school and village teams until my mid twenties when golf took over. Then returned briefly in my early retirement years. I have followed Hampshire and England's fortunes around the world, mainly through radio and TV. And spent many happy hours at Hampshire's ground near Southampton. Here is their present ground:

I started playing some fun cricket for my rotary club in 1996. I enjoyed it so much I decided to join a club that played mid week matches against touring teams. When buying new cricket gear I met Adie Ames, Hampshire's wicket keeper. He suggested I went to the County Ground for sessions with the Hampshire cricket coach. Had great fun doing that. Bowling and batting coaching in the indoor nets. Facing a bowling machine at 90 mph was interesting! I played just one season for Hinton Admiral cricket team. Sadly my new career was cut short by a knee injury.
But not before a special highlight. While a rotary member there was an international rotary cricket festival in Dorset. I played two matches for England against Australia and India. So I became an England player at 52!
When I look back on my cricket days, I always remember the day I took a hat trick at Bedhampton. Within an hour I had a message that my niece Jo had been born. Much more important than my hat trick!
Watching England's cricket has seen so many ups and downs. Nothing has ever quite matched the day in the 1956 when I saw Jim Laker take 9 wickets and then all ten wickets in the second innings to enable England to beat Australia. Long ago!
Enjoyed watching England beating South Africa yesterday.

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