A most convivial gathering celebrated Wendy Wimbush’s 30 consecutive years as Treasurer and Assistant Secretary of the Cricket Writers’ Club with a special lunch in her honour at the Lord’s Tavern restaurant on Tuesday, November 24.
CWC Chairman Mark Baldwin said: “There are many people who have given great service to this Club, but no one has done more for it than Wendy so it is entirely right that we mark her 30th year in this way. I am really pleased that Wendy enjoyed the occasion, and that her two surviving brothers, Mark and Andrew, could be there with her at the lunch.”
John Woodcock, Pat Gibson, Colin Evans, Brian Scovell, Colin Bateman, Graham Morris, Julian Guyer and David ‘Plum’ Warner were there in their capacity as past or present Chairmen, Secretaries or Presidents, and other members in attendance were Ian Todd, John Jackson, Peter Baxter, Alan Hill, Marcus Hook, William Powell and Tony Winlaw.
Derek Hodgson, CWC Secretary from 1986 to 2004 and President from 2004 to 2008, was unable to attend but sent a message of congratulation which finished: “I can predict, without hesitation, that the CWC will never see another Wendy Wimbush. And if Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair had had the sense to appoint her as Chancellor of the Exchequer then it would be China who would now be begging Britain to build nuclear power stations.”
As a footnote, Wendy reports that – according to Wooders, and thus there is no reason at all to doubt its veracity – she has become only the third lady, after The Queen and Betty Snowball, the former England Women’s cricketer, to have had a lunch staged in her honour on the Lord’s estate.
Yorkshire retained the Cricket Writers' Club's prestigious player of the year awards as well as the LV County Championship. England's Jonny Bairstow is the CWC's County Championship Player of the Year, in association with William Hill, won by Adam Lyth in 2014. Jack Leaning, 21, succeeded Alex Lees as Young Cricketer of the Year. Bairstow regained his England place while topping the Championship's batting averages with 1,108 runs at 92.33. The 26 year-old, who was the CWC's Young Cricketer of the Year in 2011, became the first player to have won both awards. Bairstow said: "It is one of the highlights of my career to have won this award. I am bruised and battered after a hard season, but to win back-to-back titles is a great feeling. I'm so pleased to be back in the England set up, there's an exciting winter ahead." Leaning became the fifth Yorkshire player in the past nine years, after Adil Rashid (2007), Bairstow (2011) Joe Root (2012) and Lees - to be named Young Cricketer of the Year, which was first awarded in 1950. Other previous winners include Yorkshire and England legends Fred Trueman (1952) and Geoffrey Boycott (1963). Leaning, 21, a right-handed former England Under-19 batsman, contributed 902 runs at 40.08, including three centuries in the first half of the season, to Yorkshire's latest title. Leaning said: "I would like thank the cricket writers for backing me for this award - it is great that Yorkshire have taken the honours again. I have really enjoyed the season and the completion of my maiden hundred at Trent Bridge has to be the highlight. At times like this you have to say thanks to mum and dad for all the hard work they did in pursuing my dream of playing county cricket." Both awards were voted for by CWC members. They are restricted to England-qualified players and the Young Cricketer of the Year award can only be won by players under the age of 23 on 1st May. The CWC's Peter Smith Award, for services to the presentation of cricket to the public, was awarded posthumously this year in honour of Richie Benaud. It was received on behalf of the late, great broadcaster and Australia captain, who passed away in April, by last year's winner David 'Bumble' Lloyd. The CWC Book Award went to Stephen Chalke for Summer's Crown, The Story of Cricket's County Championship.
Keaton Jennings, Ben Duckett and Charlotte Edwards spoke of their pride at winning the 2016 Cricket Writers' Club awards. Durham batsman Jennings won the County Championship player of the year award, presented in association with William Hill, after finishing the season as the competition's leading run scorer, while Northamptonshire left-hander Duckett, 21, was the Club's Young Player of the Year and Edwards the first winner of the women's award. "It's been a special season in a lot of ways and to end up with this award is another big moment," said Jennings, who made 1,548 Championship runs at an average of 64.50. "At the start of the year I hadn't set myself any goals in terms of runs scored but am very pleased with the way the season's gone, from a personal and a team point of view , after ending up fourth with five wins." Northamptonshire's Duckett capped a season that saw him gain selection for both England's Test and One-Day squads by being named the CWC Young Player of the Year. The 21-year-old left-handed batsman topped a ballot of the CWC membership after a brilliant season in all formats. In July, Duckett struck a blistering 220 not out off 131 balls, including 29 fours and six sixes for the England Lions in a one-day game against Sri Lanka A, yet that was not even his highest score of the season, with Duckett making 282 not out for Northamptonshire against Sussex in the County Championship in April. His tally of 1,338 runs in the County Championship included four hundreds, while he also helped Northamptonshire win the Twenty20 Blast. Duckett's form saw him selected for both the Test and one-day squads for England's tour of Bangladesh. First presented in 1950, and one of the oldest such honours in cricket, the award, which by tradition is won just once in a career, is restricted to England-qualified players under the age of 23 on May 1. Previous winners of the Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year award have amassed more than 2,500 Test caps between them, with Duckett the first Northamptonshire player to receive the award since former England batsman Rob Bailey in 1984. Duckett said: "I am delighted to have been chosen by the Cricket Writers' Club for this award. Looking through the list of previous winners shows our special an award it is. It's been a wonderful season, I've shocked myself at times and was particularly proud to play a part in Northants' success in the T20 competition. I have to thank my team mates for their support and am excited by what lies ahead for me." Edwards spent much of her career breaking new ground so it was, perhaps, appropriate that she should be the first winner of the CWC women's award - the first time the Club specifically honoured a female cricketer in its 70-year history. Edwards began 2016 as England captain - a post she'd held for a decade. She led her country to the final of the World T20 in India and finished as England's leading run scorer, and the tournament's 2nd highest scorer overall, only to be removed from the England captaincy in a controversial move as team management sought a fresh start. That decision prompted Edwards, 36 to retire from international cricket after more than 300 senior games for her country. Yet far from calling time on her career, Edwards captained three sides to a unique domestic treble in leading Kent to the 50-over County Championship title, the Twenty20 title, and the Southern Vipers to victory in the inaugural T20 Kia Super League. She said: "It didn't start off in the best fashion but it's been a brilliant season, culminating in the KSL. I really enjoyed captaining the Southern Vipers and am looking forward to playing in Australia this winter."
PAT GIBSON STANDS DOWN AFTER SIX YEARS AS CWC CHAIRMAN
LORD'S - APRIL 24, 2014
Pat Gibson was clearly lost for words at the club’s annual meeting at Lord’s last week when he received a package of presents from members in recognition of his outstanding six-year service as chairman.
No one in the club’s history had previously served as chairman for more than three years. “Gibbo”, the former cricket correspondent of the Daily Express and Sunday Express, and still a regular contributor on cricket to The Times, took over the CWC chairmanship from Graham Morris in 2008 and – like his immediate predecessor – led the club with great dedication and attention to detail.
In modern times the club has increasingly taken an active role in areas such as county facilities, accreditation, working with ECB and MCC on a number of cricket issues, England liaison, as well as continually trying to improve the annual lunch, which in 2013 saw a big turnout of members at the Plaisterers’ Hall.
Most recently, as his long chairmanship stint came to an end, he had been fully involved in ongoing discussions with the ECB over the decision by the Press Association to dispense with “eye-witness” reports from regionally based freelances on the vast majority of county matches.
Apart from a whole raft of thank you gifts – which included a picture of North Marine Road in Scarborough, his favourite ground – Gibbo was elected as a life member in recognition of his service to the club, as was David Foot, the veteran Guardian sports writer, who was celebrating his 85th birthday on the day of the AGM.