January 31st was a truly sad day for The Cricket Writers' Club, following the news that we had lost both Terry Cooper, who reported on rugby, as well as cricket, for the Press Association over many years; and Charles Randall, who was a mainstay of the Daily Telegraph's cricket coverage during the 1990s and 2000s. Two wonderful colleagues and companions. Our thoughts go out to their families at this incredibly difficult time. David (Toff) Lloyd), Ivo Tennant and Mark Baldwin pay tribute below.
Charles Randall's funeral will be at 12.30pm on Monday, 24th February at Christ Church, Radlett (Watling Street, WD7 7JJ) and after at Porter's Park Golf Club, Radlett (Shenley Hill, WD7 7AZ). Dress code will be club ties. No flowers please. Donations if desired to MCC Foundation.
The funeral for Terry Cooper will be at West Herts Crematorium, North Chapel, High Elms Lane, Watford, WD25 0JS on Thursday 27th February 2020 at 2.40pm; afterwards at Tabard (Radlett) Rugby Club, Cobden Hill, Radlett, WD7 7JN. Everyone welcome. Family flowers only. Details Will be supplied later for anyone wishing to give a donation to specific charity. To help give Terry’s family an idea of numbers please letting Will Macpherson know so he can pass on.
TERRY COOPER - by David (Toff) Lloyd
It was the summer of 1986 when two wide-eyed, (relatively) young and hopeful hacks were let loose on the England cricket circuit. Not long up from the sticks, luckily they had a couple of things in their favour: a three-page ‘document’, closely typed on an old Olivetti, entitled “How a Test match fortnight works” and the company, for three internationals apiece, of that guide’s author.
Mark ‘Stanley’ Baldwin and I have re-read Terry Cooper’s words of wisdom on a good many occasions over the past 30-odd years, enjoying yet again his colourful turns of phrase and reminding ourselves how different the game of cricket reporting was before mobile phones, laptops and social media changed everyone’s world.
But what neither of us would ever want to alter, I know, is the experience of having had TC as our mentor - both in the press box and, arguably even more enlightening, out of it - during that international season of ‘86.
Cooper was made for agency work. And, more particularly, he was in his element ad-libbing copy over the phone at a time when the Press Association served dozens upon dozens of evening papers, regularly updating and renewing stories from the dreaded ‘0430’ through to 3 in the afternoon - or maybe even later if it was a really “zonking day’s play”.
If anyone had wanted to bet on a cricket writer having the longevity of, say, John Woodcock, Charlie Randall would have been a good call. He was slim, wry, seemed to eat and drink little, did not smoke, and, as he once demonstrated when covering Hampshire at Bournemouth, had evidently been a fine club cricketer for many years. He collected the ball on the boundary and, to the irritation of the fielder who had pursued it, fizzed it in over the stumps and into the wicket-keeper’s gloves
So his death from pneumonia, when only in his early ‘seventies, comes as a shock. He worked for the Daily Telegraph for 32 years, firstly on the sports desk and then as a cricket writer for a quarter of a century. Thankfully he, and his long-serving colleague Dicky Rutnagur avoided the unforgivable culling of several of their colleagues three weeks before the start of the 2010 season.
I happened to be in the press box, the old - and preferable - box at Lord’s with Charlie in 1989 when he was relatively new to cricket writing. It was early season and Yorkshire were giving a debut to a young fast bowler called Darren Gough, who took three Middlesex wickets for 44, coming on first change. Neither of us had heard of him. Charlie, diligent and polite as ever, asked the travelling White Rose correspondents - at least four in those days - if they could fill him in as he had a lengthy piece to write.
Well, TC, what can I say? You were the best of colleagues, and the perfect mentor to Toff and I when we joined PA (or The Joke Factory, as you called it).
By the time you guided me through the second half of that summer of ‘86, which featured England’s 1-0 series defeat to New Zealand - whose off spinner, John Bracewell, responded to one of your searching questions at an after-play press conference, to general hilarity: “Gee, mate, you’re a bit of a shit-stirrer, aren’t you?” - I had already had the pleasure of reporting several of England’s Five Nations matches as your ‘No 2’.
Indeed, we used to chuckle for years afterwards at my response to your very first ‘on-the-whistle’ instruction to me at Twickenham. You had just finished your run of play copy (‘cuffed’ on an open line to 85 Fleet Street) and were dashing off to conduct in your inimitable style the press conferences with the coaches and captains of England and Ireland. (There were no media relations officers in those days so, when England were the hosts, you just did it simply because everyone expected you to do it).
“Just give the desk a quick nightlead, will you? Wrap it all up. Say, eight pars or so... 300 words??”
Dutifully, and keen to show that I had indeed learned at the Western Daily Press that I could write to order under pressure, I constructed a concise and, if I may say so, perfectly-executed 300-worder on what had been a dramatic international in which Dean Richards had scored a hat-trick of tries from No 8 for England.
The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity whose objective is to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.
Our mission is to enhance the lives if disadvantaged and disabled young people through sport and recreation.
Our programmes support some of the most marginalised and at risk young people in the UK. We create a range of opportunities for young people from deprived areas and those with disabilities to engage in sport and recreational activities in their local communities.
20/08/2019: Is Steve Smith The Ronaldo Of Cricket? Australia Odds Drift For Third Test
William Hill have been inundated by England cricket fans over the last 24 hours as Steve Smith was ruled out of the Third Test of the Ashes. Originally priced at Even money, Joe Root's men have been backed in to 8/15 via a bit of 4/5. Australia, on the other hand, have drifted from 11/10 to 11/8.
"There are only a few sportspeople in the world whose absence can cause their team's price to drift so much,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams. "In the past, Ronaldo's absence for Portugal and Jonny Wilkinson's for England have done just that and now Steve Smith has joined the list."
Third Test winner:
8/15 England; 11/8 Australia; 13/2 draw
Man of the match:
6/1 Joe Root, 6/1 Jofra Archer, 9/1 Ben Stokes, 12/1 Stuart Broad, 12/1 Nathan Lyon, 12/1 Pat Cummins, 12/1 Mitchell Starc, 12/1 David Warner, 14/1 Chris Woakes, 14/1 Josh Hazlewood, 14/1 Rory Burns, 14/1 James Pattinson, 14/1 Jack Leach, 16/1 Usman Khawaja, 16/1 Travis Head, 16/1 Jonny Bairstow, 18/1 Jason Roy, 18/1 Peter Siddle, 20/1 Mitchell Marsh, 20/1 Marnus Labuschagne, 20/1 Sam Curran, 20/1 Cameron Bancroft, 20/1 Jos Buttler, 25/1 Matthew Wade, 25/1 Marcus Harris, 25/1 Joe Denly.
The objects of the CWC are to further the interests of those involved with the media coverage of cricket and of cricket as a whole.
The CWC will in no way endeavour to dictate policy or influence opinion in the cricket media nor have any concern with the policy of newspapers and other outlets: and at no time have any concern with the relations between employers and their staff as to who is employed.
Full Membership shall be open to all those employed full-time for not less than four months in any one calendar year in the media coverage of cricket in the United Kingdom. Honorary Life Members may be elected at the Annual General Meeting from those who have given distinguished service both to the profession of cricket writing and to the Club.
Associate Members may be elected by the Committee at any time from those engaged in writing, reporting, photographing, commentating, broadcasting and recording cricket on a part-time basis in the UK. Honorary Associate Members may be elected by the Committee at any time from distinguished former Full Members, senior touring writers, scorers of first-class counties, who may be invited, and such cricketing persons as the Committee may wish to invite.
Only Full Members and Honorary Life Members will have voting rights. Full Members and Associate Members will pay a subscription. Honorary Associate Members will be entitled to attend all meetings and functions and, if based in the United Kingdom, will receive Club mailings. Overseas Members may be elected by the Committee at any time from those engaged in writing, reporting, commentating, broadcasting and photographing cricket outside the United Kingdom and British Isles. They shall be entitled to attend all meetings and functions and may apply, by electronic mail, for all the Club's mailings.
KEY WORDS Cricket Writers' Writers Club Cricket County Test MCC ECB ICC Times Telegraph Guardian Independent Mail Evening Standard Fleet Street News Journalists Journalism Journo Journos Media Press Cricket Box Centre Press Association Events Awards History Derbyshire Durham Essex Glamorgan Gloucestershire Hampshire Ireland Kent Lancashire Leicestershire Middlesex Netherlands Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire Scotland Somerset Surrey Sussex Unicorns Warwickshire Worcestershire Yorkshire ESPN Cricinfo Sportinglife BBC Yahoo Jonathan Agnew John Arlott Richie Benaud Brian Johnston Christopher Martin-Jenkins William Hill Smile Group Travel Investec Waitrose