County Cricketers Golfing Society
Angus Fraser MBE
Captaining any team is an honour and that is how I feel about ‘leading’ the County Cricketers Golf Society in 2020.
I have placed ‘leading’ in exclamation marks for a couple of reasons. Firstly because the leadership and input I will offer this year will be relatively small compared to that of several of our committee, who work extremely hard in ensuring these matches are the pleasurable experiences they are.
Being a match captain is a pretty stressless job. All you do is send out a few emails, wait for a response, put together the pairings on the morning of the match, say a few words of thanks at lunch and collect a few quid of those that attended. It is not as though you have to analyse the character of your team before pairing them up or make a Ballesteros type speech to get your team motivated, which is just as well as it would be wasted on a few.
And this leads me on to the second reason for me questioning the term ‘leading’ because leading some of the characters that regularly attend these fixtures can be, how can I say this, interesting. I will mention no names but the image of ‘herding cats’ comes to mind when thinking of attempting to organise a couple of individuals.
And it is the fun you have with characters like Wayne ‘Ossie’ Osman that make the days so enjoyable. It doesn’t matter whether you made one appearance for Middlesex or 70 for England you are welcomed with open arms to the group. The volume of runs you scored or wickets you took doesn’t save you from the stick that flies around either, which is something I can vouch for.
I can’t remember my CCGS debut but I reckon I would have driven to the venue in trepidation, wondering why I had allowed myself to be bullied into playing by a senior player at Middlesex CCC. Driving away from the match, however, my view on proceedings would have changed completely. After spending several enjoyable hours reminiscing and spending time with good, interesting people, playing on a fantastic course and having had an excellent lunch I would have taken little persuasion to make myself available for another match.
One of the many joys of playing for the CCGS is the quality of golf course you play on, and our fixture list allows members to challenge themselves on many of the leading courses in the country. Each year the relationships we have with members of the clubs that host us grow stronger and wherever we go we are looked after superbly. To each of these clubs I thank you enormously.
And it is for the reasons above that I would like to encourage those that are currently playing county cricket to get involved. When you are in the thick of your career everything seems ‘hunky dory’ because everyone wants to know you and next season you are going to take the game by storm. When you retire or leave the game of cricket it though things change and it is often hard to find days when you can return to the dressing room and have some fun.
CCGS matches offer just such days and, if you are need of a bit of a leg-up there is a good chance there is someone here who can help.
I look forward to seeing you in 2020.