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Talking Points - News From This Angle

Ken Snellgrove loved his club

Lancashire have announced the death of former player Ken Snellgrove, aged 67, an important member of the squad under Jack Bond's captaincy during the era of one-day domination from 1969 to 1972.

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Although he was born in Shepton Mallet and played for Ormskirk and Leyland with distinction, Snellgrove will always be most closely associated with Bootle Cricket Club, whose first team he captained in 1980.

"Ken was one of the shining lights of the Liverpool Competition," said the former Bootle captain Ian Cockbain. "He was from Bootle, played for Bootle and then played for Lancashire. He was the type of cricketer I was striving to become. When I broke into the Lancashire side, most of the team had played alongside him and they all spoke warmly of him."

In recent years Snellgrove could invariably be found at Wadham Road or wherever Bootle were in action. He watched the cricket closely and took particular pleasure in the achievements of his son David, whose first season as Bootle captain begins this summer.

Posted by Charlie Randall
09/03/2009 23:05:59

Treasurer's theft hurts Welsh club

A CRICKET club in North Wales almost folded because of thieving by their new treasurer, who had developed an internet gambling habit, the Flintshire Chronicle has reported.

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Mold Crown Court heard that Graham Owen, 25, had not paid a penny into the accounts since he was appointed treasurer to Buckley Cricket Club last April. Money given to him from bar takings and functions were stolen by Owen, at one stage the club captain, who was in financial trouble after losing his job.

Club officials tackled him about what was going on, he apologised and promised to pay the money back. But he failed to do so and the police were called in. Owen, of Parkside in Buckley, admitted stealing £2,000 of club funds between April and October of last year, though he avoided a prison sentence and instead was ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work. He must also pay all the money back together with £60 costs.

Prosecutor Robert Blakemore said it was a mean offence which nearly brought about the demise of the cricket club and at one stage left it uninsured and facing the prospect of the electricity being cut off.

Phillip Marshall-Thomas, defending, said Owen had lost his good character and name. Owen was deeply ashamed at what he had done. He had been depressed, suffered sleepless nights and had shed many tears over what had happened. "He was full of good intentions to pay the money back, but we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions," said Mr Marshall-Thomas.

He added: "It got out of control, he could not repay the money because he had lost his job and unfortunately he also had at the time been gambling on the internet. And I suspect that is where that money went."

Posted by Charlie Randall
06/02/2009 17:14:34

Colne shaken by heavy losses

THE wet summer, one of the worst for years, was blamed for a heavy financial loss sustained by the Lancashire League club Colne.

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Having finished bottom of the table, Colne disclosed a loss of £10,565 for the year to Sept 30, according to a report in the Burnley Express . Plummeting receipts and increasing costs meant the bar lost an incredible £9,225, and the cricket deficit was £1,340.

It could have been worse because expenditure on groundsmen and the club professional fell by more than £3,000, due in part to the South African professional Blake Snijman having to return home in mid-season. It was Colne's second major loss in a row. In 2007 the club lost £4,734.

Posted by Charlie Randall
30/01/2009 12:57:29

Lord's dream fades for golfer Burdett

THE Woodhouse Grange captain Steve Burdett has disclosed he is likely to wind down his village cricket to give more time to his job as a golf professional at the York club Heworth.

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Burdett led Grange to the National Village Cup final in September, his third appearance at Lord's, and after the 24-run defeat by Valley End he reassessed his responsibilities to golf without committing himself to a definite retirement.

"The cricket takes up a lot of time," he said. "It's a bit busy at work and they've been very supportive of me. The club have done me proud in allowing me to play and given me a bit of lenience to allow me to play my hobby."

The new rules of entry in the Cup now bar clubs who pay or subsidise any member for playing or coaching.

Posted by Charlie
17/11/2008 14:40:15

Bingham accounts hit by fraud

A CLUB treasurer in Nottinghamshire has been jailed for nine months for syphoning thousands of pounds from Bingham CC's accounts.

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Evidence at Nottingham Crown Court disclosed that Matthew Boocock, 34, failed to deposit significant sums of the club's money into its account between 2005 and 2007. He then submitted false financial year-end reports to the club's management committee. In January, 2007, he transferred £2,750 from the club into his own account. Checks later revealed that the Bingham bank account showed only £189, although Boocock's most recent report claimed it had a balance of £4,872.

Boocock, a financial adviser of Wetherill Close, Claypole, near Newark, admitted three counts of false accounting and one of fraud by abuse of position.

Charlie says: This sort of crime can be very serious. Bedford Town CC were forced to fold a couple of years ago after a club official absconded with funds. Malden Wanders, Cockspur Cup finalists, were similarly affected in 1932 when they were robbed of £1,000, a considerable sum. The club only surived because they had some spare land to sell.

Posted by Charlie
19/09/2008 20:16:02

Maunders ton fails to deny Ealing

EALING became the first club to retain the Evening Standard Challenge Trophy, London's prime knockout competition, adding to a clean sweep of honours in the ECB Middlesex Premier League.

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Ealing, playing at their own Corfton Road ground, beat Sunbury by two wickets in their fifth final during the 17 years of the competition and their fourth in a row, the last to be sponsored by the Evening Standard. They had already won the ECB Middlesex Premier League for a record-breaking fourth year in a row and took the second and third team leagues. The club also won the Middlesex under-17 league and cup.

The Evening Standard final was switched after the Oval day had been rained off the previous week and an exciting contest proved to be a rewarding final match as captain for Luke Stoughton and a memorable swansong for Ian Blanchett in his final appearance for the club before his imminent departure for New Zealand.

John Maunders, the Leicestershire and Essex batsman, hit 102 for Sunbury, though his Middlesex colleagues David Nash and Adma London failed with the bat. Off-spinner Sameer Patel took five wickets to spark a collapse to 202.

Ealing's county experience was provided by all-rounder Chris Peploe, out of favour at Middlesex as a left-arm spinner, and Rajesh Rao, formerly Sussex, though it was a former Middlesex all-rounder Blanchett, with 45 not out, who squeezed out a victory against the odds after wickets had fallen regularly.

At the award ceremony after the game, the bowler of the match award went to Patel, and Maunders won the batsman of the match award, but in a very sporting gesture he passed the award over to Blanchett in recognition of his match-winning innings.

Posted by Charlie
17/09/2008 10:46:52

Horse racing XI ready for crease

FORMER jockey Marcus Armytage is to captain a team of journalists in a charity cricket match against a horse racing XI on Sept 21 in aid of the Wiltshire-based charity Greatwood, which cares for retired racehorses.

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The Daily Telegraph and Horse & Hound writer brings his team to Challow and Childrey Cricket Club, near Wantage, the match starting at 10.30am. The horse racing team will be captained by trainer Oliver Sherwood, brother of former jockey Simon Sherwood, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Desert Orchid.

Players scheduled to appear include Derby-winning trainer William Haggas, Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Kim Bailey, BBC commentator Rishi Persad, trainer George Baker and trainer Nick Gifford, son of Aldaniti trainer Josh and whose sister Tina Cook won two Olympic eventing bronze medals in Beijing.

The officials include trainer Henry Candy as umpire and Bill Frindall MBE, the Test Match Special scorer, as guest speaker and commentator. Other charities to benefit are Spinal Research, The Lambourn Valley Housing Trust, Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance and St John Ambulance. Admission is free.

Posted by Charlie
11/09/2008 17:55:46

Suffolk estate revives old ground

AN old country house cricket ground in Suffolk has been revived to host at least one match and possibly more in future. Ashe Park was always regarded as an idyllic venue.

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The ground in a village near Aldeburgh returned to pasture when Campsea Ashe Park Cricket Club folded in 1953, but the present owner Richard Keeling welcomed an approach to bring cricket back, according to the East Anglian Daily Times .  Keeling was contacted by Andrew Cadman, who lived on the Ashe Park estate as a boy, and James Morford, a local Campsea Ashe resident, about the possibility of arranging a game on the old field. Keeling said: "It was a deer park here, and the gardens were one of the finest in Suffolk. Rather than just leave this land for cows and to take the hay out of it, it seemed a good idea to bring back cricket."

Ashe Park was once renowned as one of the best grounds in Suffolk, and the Campsea Ashe club took on teams from Lowestoft, Thorpeness, St Audry's Hospital, Melton, RAF Martlesham, Orwell Works, Mistley, Bawdsey, Eyke and Rendlesham.

The original High House, a 25-bedroom country mansion, and its estate of 2,350 acres was built in 1585 by John Glover. In 1845 John George Sheppard, the owner of the Campsea Ashe estate, formed the cricket club and he invited I Zingari to play. Cricket was then played for more than 100 years, but in 1953 the High House mansion was demolished and the club moved to Woodbridge School and became known as Deben Valley.

Posted by Charlie
05/09/2008 10:16:06

Woodhouse Grange return to Lord's

THE Yorkshire club Woodhouse Grange, the champions, will play Valley End, from Chobham in Surrey, in the final of the npower Village Cup at Lordís on Monday Sept 8, having beaten off competition from the soggy summer and more than 400 other village clubs.

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Both teams had to contend with the frustration of two successive washed out semi-finals before claiming a spot in the dream final at the home of cricket.

Woodhouse Grange return to Lord's, courtesy of a comfortable 87-run away win at Lancashire rivals Woodhouses. Valley End booked their first npower final with a 37-run home win by against Carew, from Dyfed.

Valley End will arrive at Lordís with an average age of just 22, with only one player, cricket manager Ian Guest, over 30. According to Guest, one of the sideís strengths is a long batting line-up, with all players used in the cup run having scored centuries for the club. Batsman Karen Singh, 126 not out in one of the rain-affected semi-finals, all-rounder Scott Jarvis and left-arm spinner Ed Young are highlighted as three players who could catch the eye.

Woodhouse Grange are fast becoming a dominant force in the village game with a fourth appearance in the npower Village Cup final in 13 years, following successes against Tiddington (1995) and Findon (2007) and a loss to Linton Park in 1999.

The npower Village Cup attracted entries from more than 400 teams this summer.

The competition is organised and administered by The Wisden Cricketer magazine www.thewisdencricketer.com

Charlie says: This competition has a certain feel-good factor, but the standard is simply too high, suspiciously high. It's hardly Sunday village cricket, more the equivalent to premier league. And there are some clubs among the 400-plus who fill the side with Saturday league pot-hunters.

Posted by Charlie
29/08/2008 15:00:07

Chairman quits over fake all-10 report

A VILLAGE club chairman has resigned in protest at what he described as a lack of action against the captain after a fake match report in Cambridgeshire had been published claiming a bowler had taken all 10 wickets in a match, one more than the nine he actually took.

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Bill Anderson was furious that Wimblington opted only for a verbal caution against the bowler and a written reprimand to the captain after a scorecard was submitted to the press purporting to show the young Sri Lankan bowler Ahmed Anver had bagged all 10, the Wisbech Standard reported.

Just days after the result was published proclaiming Anver as a sensation the truth emerged that the visiting Fenstanton had only fielded 10 players. "It was a blatant lie," said Anderson, who felt the club committee's reaction to be less than adequate once the circumstances were revealed.

Richard Corbert, secretary of Fenstanton, who played in the game, said he was mystified why the Wimblington players had pretended to have taken all 10 wickets. He said he was surprised to discover that a "T Mason" had been added to the team sheet in the number 11 spot. "I have been involved with Fenstanton for many years and we don't have a T Mason, indeed have never had a T Mason play for us," he said.

Wimblington won by 109 runs. Anderson moved to March Cricket Club, coaching juniors and offering his services to other clubs as a coach. "I am not going to take up a chairmanship again," he said.

Posted by Charlie
30/07/2008 12:51:11
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