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Scyld Berry, Henry Blofeld, Roland Butcher, Paul Farbrace, Barry Hearn OBE, Sir Tim Rice

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Hertfordshire 3rdXI batsman  David Spring hit the highest ever individual score in the competition’s 11 year history. His 167* in the match v Middlesex, surpassed the previous high of 161 posted by fellow Hertfordshire batter Bill Makin last year.

100 Club

Congratulations also to Kevan Pratt of Essex. He has joined the 100 club,having taken his tally of 70s First XI wickets to the magical 3 figure total in the demolition of estuary opponents Kent. He is the third bowler to do joining an elite group joining Ted Elsey and MartinWoodward. 


Seniors cricket saw a batting record smashed last week as Gloucester opening pair John Evans and Keith Daniels (pictured) put the Wales 70s First XI to the sword. Playing at the scenic BreconCC the dashing Evans(recently confirmed as new England 70s captain ) and the left handed Daniels racked up an impressive unbeaten 326*,which proved beyond the reach of the Wales battters.This is the highest partnership for any wicket in all Seniors cricket and surpasses the 304 set by Eames and Newing for Devon 60s in 2013. Earlier this season Daniels had become the all time leading 60s run scorer. 

County Newsletters

Does your County have one ?
There must be plenty of good practice around the country but in case you need some inspiration here are extracts from the most recent communications from Cornwall and Lincs.

Cornwall v Australia
As a result of winning the South West group in 2022 our O60s 1st XI will host the Australia O60s Test team at Truro on Friday July 28th. This will be the match that precedes the final 'Test' match v England the following week. We plan to make this a big event and a meeting at Truro CC was held recently to discuss plans.

For now please make a note of this in your diary as we hope all O50s / O60s / O70s and friendly team players will come along to help out, along with former players. The Cornwall Cricket Board will help promote the match which we are hoping will be live on You Tube. Prior to the game there will be a walk around Boscawen Park for the Bob Willis Walk for Prostate Cancer. Here's a link to how Warwickshire did this. More details to follow but it would be great if lots of you could join in that. Trevor has grand plans during the tea interval to organise a Bob Willis impression bowling competition.
Trevor is also looking for a couple of co-commentators to do player interviews, on the day announcements, ball by ball commentary. If you fancy getting behind the mic please contact Trevor.
After the match there will be food available, there will be an awards ceremony and Chris Dennis is organising a group of singers. It promises to be a specular day but we need your help to make it a success.

Please see below, the second Lincolnshire Senior Cricket Monthly Newsletter compiled by Keith West:

Pride of place this month goes to the over 60s seconds who secured their first ever victory on May 2nd against Bedfordshire. Chasing 186 to win, they won with an over to spare. The success was based on several individual contributions, notably Chris Bealby’s 64 and Zubair Ahmed’s 3 wicket haul .. we all were ‘ exzubairant ‘ afterwards! On reflection a crucial factor was the difference in fielding- we had no drops and smart running between the wickets to gather quick (well, less slow) singles. Whilst the old adage ‘catches win matches’ was relevant, the opposition’s fielding fits the old quotation about cricket as ‘organised loafing‘.

The month ended with another stunning performance by the above team but with several different players due to first team call ups. In contrast to last year’s away fixture in Nowton against Suffolk, Lincs managed to field 11 players (as opposed to 8 in 2022 when the game was conceded). they chased down 264 to win in the last over, after a century opening partnership (unusually the second one of the match) with Geoff Hawkins scoring a sumptuous 108 as the backbone of the innings..
At the tea interval stand in captain Clive Bayston had talked about a ‘Baz’ ball reply on a ground with a fast outfield. In the field he led by example, justifying his nickname of ‘Maradona’ with several footballing stops.
However, it has to be said that the odd sceptic thought it was more comparable to Madonna In retrospect Clive’s idiosyncratic Captaincy could be termed BUD ball, standing for:
B - Brave - he promoted Tony Downie from 11 to opening and was rewarded with a sterling 40
U – Unusual - he changed wicket keeper half way through the innings
D - Decisive - amending the batting order as the run chase intensified, promoting Eddie Seymour who excelled in the last ten overs and who finished not out on 45
The ultimate victory was partly down to fewer wides behind bowled than previously , thus making the target slightly less daunting. Even so it was our best ever run chase .. such there was talk of a Steward’s enquiry and dope testing… Yes - several dopes were identified!
The Committee would like to thank the following match ball sponsors - Steve Armstrong ( v Derbyshire), Andy Sharp( v Yorkshire) and Tom Ellis ( v Bucks ). Finally, there has been some talk about a golf day at the end of the season. Several years ago the over 60s team met up occasionally to play at Louth, prior to the preseason lunch and also at Christmas . If you are interested in such an event please let Keith West or Mike Kearns know.

Halfway There .. !!

With the temperatures increasing and totals rising here is a quick review of how things stand at the half way point in this year’s 60s competitions.
First XI
Suffolk lead the pack with 5 wins from 6 and are benefiting from an influx of younger players. Norfolk on the other hand are still searching for that elusive first win.
Midlands Warwickshire as ever look strong with 6 wins, whilst propping the table up are Shropshire,again looking to break their duck.
North This is a very competitive group with 3 teams each having lost one game, although Lincolnshire are in the same club as Shropshire and Norfolk.
South East Another tight group with 3 teams losing one game, and Berkshire surprising a couple of counties
South West Gloucestershire top the log heading for the Cup, whilst Cornwall are hoping to have an improved second half.
In the Second XI competitions
Hertfordshire appear to be clear favourites, although no one should right off Kent or Wales.
The 3rd XI competition sees both Kent and Wales unbeaten and the smart money would be on them to contest the final.
Finally,it is looking likely that Essex and Kent will continue to challenge for the 4th XI trophy, though Surrey may have something to say about that. Good luck to all counties in the second half. May the sun continue to shine and players remain fit and healthy 

New 60+ All Time Leading Run Scorer

Keith Daniels has just overtaken Mickey Swain to become the all-time leading run-scorer in the 60+ 1st XI championship.

400 Up For Martin

Already Seniors Cricket’s leading wicket taker Martin Woodward (Worcs) added to his impressive cv in the match against Somerset last week. In taking all four visitor’s wickets to fall, Martin took his tally of Seniors victims to 400.He is is the only cricketer to have reached this milestone. The veteran seamer,former spin bowler, has been a consistent wicket taker across 50s,60s and now 70s cricket.With a busy season ahead, including the touring Australians, Martin is sure to add to his tally

During last week’s game against Essex at Buxted Sussex stalwart Ted Elsey joined the exclusive 300 wickets club. Despite his side suffering a heavy defeat, Ted’s day was marked by the taking of his 300th Seniors wicket. He joins the 300 club, which only has 2 other members, Martin Woodward (398) and Brian Bogden(345). Ted is also one of only 2 players who have taken 100 70s wickets, the other being Woodward  

Seniors Cricket

Watching a premier league cricket team walking off recently after a close fought match I was taken aback by the reflection in the changing room window of a grey haired old man to the rear of a bunch of twenty somethings and teenagers. Than man was me and the shock was because I certainly do not perceive myself in that way yet the interconvertible fact was that I was giving the oldest of them 30 years and some up to 45; but league cricket is not a care structure and clubs select on merit and not sympathy.

So what does that mean for the swathe of cricketers who have played competitive sport all their lives and have reached the age when many are looking for the allotment. Happily the answer is captured in the maxim of the masters sportsman ‘You don’t stop playing when you get old, you get old when you stop playing’. Good batsmen do not get worse with age if anything they get more selective, bowlers may get slower but they retain the guile that has been honed over years of competition, fielders may get slower it is true but wicket keepers appear to get better!

Happily there is now an organised and partly sponsored structure in the form of the England Seniors cricket organisation that provides the opportunity for seniors to compete with like minded fit peers in a competitive county championship (62 county teams at over 60 and growing) and seek selection for the international stage through Ashes series against the Australian Cricket Seniors Cricket Board, Caribbean and Americas Cup tournaments (all of which England currently hold) and a World Cup Competition that sees 8 nations competing every 2 years with the next planned for March 2024 in India.

The competition to wear the 3 lions cap is intense. So next time you see that grey hired old man wheeling his holdall down the street when you are setting off to the bingo, resist the temptation to say ‘Oh bless’ because he might just be on his way to Heathrow to fly out on an international cricket tour.


New Vice President Scyld Berry’s latest book has just hit the shops and makes a fascinating read for all those with a love of, and a concern for, the traditional game of cricket. The introduction is a stark and concise piece of writing that spells out the issues facing County cricket in today’s hurley burley white ball world, and lays bare the parlous state of the red ball game.
He then proceeds to cover all 18 counties, in individual essays, that are as varied as the counties themselves. In each one he touches upon the history, the idiosyncrasies and some tricky current issues, without at all becoming formulaic. The Kent wicket keepers, the Sussex family pairings and the Derbyshire fast bowlers are some of the highlights. With feet in several camps (born in Yorkshire, lived in Surrey, playing for Gloucester),it is hard to detect whether the author has a favourite, although the front cover may give a clue.
Scyld has been covering England tours since 1977 and seen over 500 tests. Scribing for The Observer, The Sunday and Daily Telegraph and also editing Wisden Almanac for 4 years, this latest book is a welcome addition to an impressive list of writings. I think it is fair to say that “Disappearing Worlds “, does for the English counties, what his earlier, “Beyond the Boundaries“,did for the cricketing countries.
If your appetite has been whetted and you fancy delving in Scyld’s back catalogue, then I would recommend his “Cricket Wallah“(1981).It is a favourite of mine, successfully combing two passions,…...the game of cricket itself and the country India. Book signing has begun, so arm yourself with pen and book ready for when you come across Scyld this summer 


A Poem from David Tee of Derbyshire 60+

Seniors cricket

An essential recipe
In Summer and Spring
Let’s raise the profile
To keep folk performing
Let’s let the willow sing!

Here in Derbyshire
From Chesterfield’s spire
To Buxton’s Spa
Wickets prepared
From Matlock’s Bath
We’ll raise a liquid jar

Let’s all hope to be fruitful
Not be plum in front
Or bowled by a peach!
Use the brand new cherry
And bowl that banana delivery
Out of every batters’ reach!

Let’s cut, sweep and drive
Through slip, square and cover
With ones, twos and fours
Let 2023 be the year
When that dream is reached
In Leagues or on Tours

So as fixtures are arranged
And as grass is mown
Strips are cut and rolled
Another season
With yet more promise
Let hope arise, let’s be bold!! David Tee

Here Come The Aussies .........Again

History does repeat itself!! In a replica of the summer of his mother’s Coronation,70 years ago, King Charles’ Coronation will be followed by the arrival of Australian cricketers.

However, unlike the summer of 1953, when just one touring side visited, this summer will see no less than FOUR Australian teams arriving, all competing for their version of the Ashes.
70 years ago Lindsay Hassett’s Aussies took on Len Hutton’s poms. With both captains leading their teams’ run charts, the home side prevailed 1-0 in a series marred by bad weather. It wasn’t until the final Test at the Oval, when the Surrey spin twins of Laker and Lock led the way, that England clinched the series with an 8 wicket win.

The summer of 2023 sees the England Seniors take on their Australian counterparts at both 60 and 70 age group level. The 60s tour occurs in July and the 70s arrive in August. Both sides have full programmes of challenging County games and full ODI series, during which the Ashes (currently held by BOTH home sides) will be fought over. Preparations have already begun with trial matches and training camps sorted. Competition will no doubt be be fierce as the Aussies seek to reverse winter defeats.
Full details of the fixtures can be found elsewhere on the Seniors website.

Ah, and there will also be the other men’s and women’s Ashes series happening during the summer…….but surely just a sideshow to the main event above !!


The 2023 season holds the prospect of several records being broken and milestones reached.
In fact before April is out,2 records have already been broken during Essex’s Ist XI win over Sussex in the delayed 2022 final.
Essex batter Kevin Grant had already scored 956 runs in the 2022 season, in itself a record, before looking to be only the
second man in Senior’s history to scale 1000 runs in a season (Kent’s Graeme Moir achieving this feat in 2016 3rd XI campaign ).Sadly Grant could only add 4 to his total, as his batting partner failed to read the memo and ran him out early in the Essex innings.

In defeating Sussex, Essex extended their record of most Championships, and are looking strong enough to add to this in 2023.
Elsewhere, Mickey Swain’s (Hampshire) run aggregate record of 5025 is likely to be over taken sometime this year by Duncan Elder (Herts), currently on 4965, and Glos’ Keith Daniels sitting on 4950.

Bowling milestones on the horizon include Brian Bogden(Somerset) within sight of both his 200th wicket and Martin Southwell’s record of 209.Similarly, Udho Maharaj on 96 wickets, is closing in on his 100th and also Ted Elsey’s (Sussex) record 126.

The last few months have been notable for very successful Seniors tours to Barbados and Australia and on the theme of touring, the final record in this piece goes to Mark “Sooty”Wheeler of Essex.He has set a record for number of cricket tours in a winter having visited Desert Springs ,twice,Ibiza,Barbados and The
Gambia. He would have added Malta to this impressive list but was thwarted when the tour was called off due to lack of support.

Provided the weather holds firm records for number of appearances in all competitions will undoubtedly be challenged. With international series this summer at both 60s and 70s level, it is not just domestic records and milestones that will be achieved…….it promises to be an historic season.


Hampshire Seniors are set to return to the delightful tree lined May’s Bounty ground in Basingstoke for three home games this summer.
First used for cricket in 1855 and by the First Class county since 1906, Seniors are excited to be back on hallowed turf.
The ground known, as May’s Bounty following the purchase of the land by Lt. Col. May in 1880, was a regular on the first class circuit until 2000 when the county decided to put all its eggs in the Rose Bowl basket.
Although Durham played an isolated match here in 2010, no-one has had the chance in the last 23 years to challenge Robin Smith’s ground record of 977 championship runs . There have been many notable feats here over the years, with Malcolm Nash’s championship best 9- 52 and Andy Sandham’s 100th hundred the picks of the crop.
Hampshire Seniors entertain rivals Kent, 49 years after perhaps the most infamous incident at the ground, also featuring the Hampshire and Kent teams.
The picture below shows the stricken Colin Cowdrey having just been felled by Andy Roberts.

The ex England captain,nearing the end of his career happily recovered. Hosts Basingstoke C.C have unveiled plans for a £1.5m pavilion upgrade, which it is hope will tempt the county back to May’s Bounty. New Hants skipper Andy Steggall said “We can’t wait to start the season and what better place than this historic ground ?” Later in the season Hampshire also entertain Essex and Berkshire at May’s Bounty.


England and Wales Seniors cricket acquired 4 new Vice Presidents over the winter, as the competition strives to reach a wider audience and increase playing numbers. The new Vice Presidents all have a strong cricket pedigree and as Chairman Chris Swadkin commented “ we are fortunate to have such such quality joining us.They will bring expertise and cudos to the organisation.”

Scyld Berry, ex Wisden Almanack editor, Daily Telegraph cricket correspondent, and multiple cricket author, joins as an active playing member. He will combine his VP role with plying his flighted filth for Gloucester 70s..
Having covered many overseas tours in his professional capacity, he enjoyed the recent Glos pre-season tour to Spain for the first time as a player.
Paul Fabrace,recently newly appointed Sussex coach, and previously coach of Warwickshire ,Sri Lanka and England joins us after contributing to the England 60 pre-Barbados tour preparations.

Captain Richard Merriman recognises the contribution made at the Loughborough camp, saying “there is no doubt Farby added a great deal to our thinking and it was a privilege to get an insight into current coaching methods.His presence gives us an important link to the professional game.”
Roland Butcher, ex England and Middx,Suffolk, joins us having recently been appointed Barbados selector.
He was on hand to support the recent 60s winning Carrib Cup campaign, and will be in the UK this summer to develop further his links to both the national side and the competitions.
Barry Hearn,OBE is probably best known for being a sports promoter and manager of darts,boxing and snooker stars.
He admits to a lifelong passion for cricket and is looking forward to contributing to the organisation and turning out for Essex 70s as often as his work allows.



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