County Cricketers Golfing Society
As the new year dawns and another England Tour to Australia ends in Ashes disappointment, the prospect of playing golf with delightful ‘cricket people’ at some of the leading clubs in the UK seems a most welcome tonic.
The game of cricket, and the health of English cricket means a great deal to me. So does friendship. As a retired cricketer who loves golf, I can’t think of a better way to spend my ‘down-time’ than participating in the County Cricketers Golfing Society’s outstanding fixtures.
I feel privileged to have played county cricket between 1982 and 2003 for Essex (my home county) Somerset and Leicestershire as well as a period serving Bucks Cricket as Director of cricket (Excellence) and Player/coach in the Minor Counties. I was fortunate to have played in an era of county cricket when the world’s best overseas players featured regularly - some of whom were all-time greats of the game. To have played against Viv Richards, Imran Khan, Michael Holding, Shane Warne, Murali, Wasim Akram, Courtney Walsh etc and to have played with Allan Border, Graham Gooch, Martin Crowe, Steve Waugh, Jimmy Cook, Mushtaq Ahmed, Anil Kumble, and Michael Bevan remains a privilege I treasure.
I also value the many and varied characters I have come to know on the county circuit and the good friendships made. With the theme of friendship in mind, I am honoured to have accepted the committee’s invitation to become our Society’s captain for 2022. I am delighted to follow in the footsteps of the much-admired Angus Fraser.
Golf dominates my sporting activity today, and the chance to renew friendships, deepen existing close friendships and establish new relationships with fellow cricketers who played in other eras, is one of the many privileged opportunities provided by the County Cricketers Golfing Society.
The ongoing battle to respond well to COVID-19 has been a tough challenge for sporting clubs. But, I believe golf can continue to be a major contributor to people enjoying better mental health. Lockdown proved to everyone the importance of human connection. And, through our society, I am keen that more former and current county cricketers enjoy the many benefits of being part of our wonderful ‘club’ and extended family across the UK at the many distinguished golf clubs that host us throughout the year.
The winter months offer time for reflection and in the process, I have come to treasure the many special experiences provided by the chance to play at some exceptional golf courses, and the good conversation shared over a glass or two of something special to complement excellent food whilst toasting the two games we all love, and the privilege of enjoying good friendship.
To our brilliant host clubs, may I extend my thanks for your generosity in the past, and as we look forward, may I add that we as a society can’t wait to have the opportunity to re-connect with you soonest.
To our members, and match managers, I wish you a happy new year and I promise to do all I can to serve you well in 2022. May I also pay tribute to the committee and officers of the County Cricketers Golfing Society who do such a great job in making it such a special ‘family’ to be part of.
I feel privileged to be invited to have been invited to become our County Cricketers Golfing Society captain for 2002, and am delighted to accept the honour.
May 2022 offer us good weather, good golf and more opportunities to both make new friends and depend existing friendships.