Chairman's Corner

In each of our regular New Bulletins the Chairman, Nigel Hancock, writes his observations on Cricket Society matters. You can read the latest edition below. 

April 2020

As this Bulletin reaches you, the outcome of the Women’s T20 World Cup will be known and the Sri Lanka v England Test series underway. Domestically, County players will be preparing for the new season. Let us hope that the new coronavirus sweeping the world has minimum impact on both domestic and international cricket. As I put together these notes, there is speculation that pre-season action overseas involving Essex, Somerset and Worcestershire is under threat. Perhaps the low attendances at many County Championship matches, not least down the road for me at Grace Road, will prove a saving grace for that competition. I wonder what the effect on cricket of the far more deadly “Spanish ‘flu” would have been in 1918 had not the impact of the first world war already delayed the resumption of top level sports. There were of course League, charity and holiday games that took place in that year, with some good attendances with former county or Test players in action.

Within this Bulletin are details of how to book for our two ‘days at the cricket’, growingly popular events in our calendar that I hope you will support. Both our Spring Awards Lunch at The Oval on 27 March and Book of the Year Award evening at Lord’s on 7 April are expected to attract large audiences. Late bookings for the former may however be possible as the accommodation we will be using has plenty of space.

At the lunch we will be making almost of all the annual awards that have always been a significant part of The Cricket Society’s activities. Our young award winners and their families in particular relish the occasion. Many of these winners go on to have high level cricketing careers. Others with special educational needs benefit through the recognition their school receives. Whether or not you attend our lunches, your membership of the Society helps us to carry out this work.

One 2020 award we will be making subsequently is a new one, to be awarded by The Cricket Society in conjunction with the British Society of Sports History (BSSH). It is to be called The Howard Milton Award for Cricket Scholarship and will be awarded annually to a person or persons who have made an outstanding and/ or unsung contribution to cricket scholarship. These might for example be to a ‘popular’ cricket writer who has demonstrated particularly strong research capability or to an ‘academic’ writer who has communicated well to a wider audience.

The winner will be selected by a panel of four people (two from the Cricket Society and two from BSSH). The usual timescale will be for nominations to be put forward about now (three from the BSSH and three from The Cricket Society) and a shortlist formed, for the panel to meet in June and agree on a winner, for the award winner to be announced in August / September (at the BSSH conference) and for the award itself to be made at one of the following Cricket Society Lunches. The winner(s) will be invited to speak at a meeting of the Cricket Society, and to speak at the BSSH’s annual conference, which takes place in late August / early September. As part of the agreement with the BSSH, Cricket Society members will be invited to attend the BSSH annual conference at a discounted rate: further information about this will be provided later. If there is a person or people you would like The Cricket Society to put forward for this award in 2020 please let me know .

As I hope you know, The Cricket Society was formed, initially as The Society of Cricket Statisticians, 75 years ago on 17 November 1945. On 17 November this year we will be meeting at the Union Jack Club with a discussion panel (details to follow when available). We are hoping to recruit many new members this year, partly through advertising in The Cricket Paper (look out for an article too) and in Wisden. Please do what you can to help us grow our membership. The key messages in our advertising are as follows:

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You love cricket so why not join the Cricket Society

Do you want to:

  • Hear great speakers including current and former cricketers at regular events • Celebrate cricket at our Spring Awards Lunch at The Oval and our Book of the Year event at Lord’s
  • Receive exclusive and informative publications about cricket
  • Watch cricket at home and follow England on affordable tours abroad
  • Play cricket to a good standard with the wandering Cricket Society XI

Then join the Society today! Visit our Website to find out how: www.cricketsociety.com

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I think we have found an Executive Committee meetings secretary. Geoff Lovett, who carries out a similar role for the British Society of Sports Historians and much, much else, will be joining us shortly. His role may expand in due course.

I am currently putting the final touches to the Spring 2020 Journal and planning the autumn issue, after which I will be stepping down as editor. The Executive Committee will decide on next steps but, meanwhile, if anyone would like to express provisional interest in the role or seek more information about it please contact me

Nigel Hancock