SLIDESHOW (above):

Slide 1: CWC Book Award 2018 - Stephen Fay & David Kynaston for 'Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket'


Slide 2: Dave Callaghan, aka Cally


Slide 3: Izzy Westbury – winner, Domestic Cricket Broadcaster of the Year

Slide 4: Charlie Taylor – winner, Young Cricket Journalist of the Year

Slide 5: Mark Church and Steve Marshall – receiving award on behalf of BBC Online, winner of Outstanding Online coverage of Domestic Cricket

Slide 6: Nick Randall – receiving award on behalf of The Times, winner of Outstanding Newspaper coverage of Domestic Cricket

Slide 7: David Collier – receiving award from Mark Baldwin on behalf of the Nottingham Post, winner of the Regional Newspaper of the Year

Slide 8: All the winners of the ECB’s Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards for 2017 with Sir Michael Parkinson and Chris Cowdrey, who was MC for the event at Lord's on March 12, 2018

CWC ANNUAL LUNCHEON 2018

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018 at 12:00 for 13:15
Jumeirah Carlton Tower
Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9PY

TICKETS

Sponsor's table of 10 (cricket sponsors) = £1,250.00

Sponsor's table of 10 (from outside the game) = £1,750.00
Media table of 10 = £950.00
Individual member = £75.00
First guest (i.e. non-member) = £75.00
Subsequent guests = £90.00
Teetotal ticket = £60.00

MENU

Starter:

Asian Duck Salad with watermelon, cashews, mint and Thai basil

or
 
(V) Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables with smoked aubergine puree and pomegranate molasses.

Main Course:

Wild Sea Bass, langoustine tempure, spring onion and lemon risotto, lobster bisque

or

Loin of Highland Venison, shallot tatin, roasted salsify, pear puree, Somerset cider jus

or

(V) Thai Vegetable Curry with coconut and coriander rice, crispy shallot rings.

Dessert:

Classic Treacle Tart with lemon thyme and vanilla ice cream.


Please note that for this year you should send the order form to Shilpa Patel at 8 Frinton Court, Hardwick Green, Ealing, London W13 8DW or email
shilpa.patel69@live.co.uk

a)  remember to fill in any alternative food requirements
b)  do not send money at this stage, please wait for Marcus Hook to invoice you and pay promptly
c)  please adhere to CWC policy that tickets must be paid for prior to the Lunch and not on the day.

CWC SUMMER BULLETIN 2018

Chairman's Report - Mark Baldwin writes:

I hope everyone is summering well and, like me, enjoying the Vitality Blast. With only one full county championship round scheduled between June 28 and August 19 – and with two counties, Essex and Hampshire – not playing any championship matches at all in this 52-day period, it is good to know that domestic cricket’s high summer is being properly filled.

The Cricket Writers’ Club, however, ploughs heroically and stoically on and, in all seriousness, I would like to commend again all those who ensure that our business – from week-to-week – is carried out efficiently. Our various sub-committees are always active and, when you look at the overall number of CWC members who contribute to the Club’s life, we are a fully inclusive and eclectic bunch.  Long may that continue to be the case.

Vithushan Ehantharajah (Vish) is now into his stride as Lead Secretary, after taking over the reins from Alan Gardner, and his report (see below) highlights one particular recent issue which is of serious concern to both CWC and ECB. Many thanks to Vish, to Simon Wilde – in his capacity as International sub-committee chairman – and to members of the Club’s full committee for helping to shape CWC’s rapid response to this incident.

As ever, in a July Bulletin, can I please ask all Club members to start thinking ahead to our Annual Lunch on Tuesday October 2, which as you know is being held again this year at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge.

Please get your ticket applications (and payments) into Shilpa Patel and Marcus Hook, respectively, as soon as you can so that we can (a) meet the hotel’s pre-payment dates and (b) get a good early idea of our total numbers for this year. Menu choices must also go through to Shilpa. Details of this, and other Annual Lunch-related info, are set out below in my Lunch sub-committee report.

We are also, at this time of year, at the start of the process – which again is to be managed by Will Macpherson – of selecting the Club’s two main award-winners of 2018: Young Cricketer of the Year, and County Championship Player of the Year. Nominations do not have to be sent to Will until later next month at the earliest, but please begin to think about who you wish to nominate in each of those two categories (although you do not have to vote if you do not feel you have seen enough relevant cricket). The deadline for YCY and CCPY nominations is Friday September 21.

Ali Mitchell will once more be convening a panel to settle on a Women’s Cricket Award winner, Paul Bolton and the Awards sub-committee will be pondering the identity of a Peter Smith Award winner, and Richard Hobson is already on the case with regards to the CWC Book Award (also see below).

Lead Secretary’s Report - Vithushan Ehantharajah writes:

In relation to allegations of serious misconduct by a senior Indian journalist, the Cricket Writers' Club opened dialogue with the England and Wales Cricket Board over the individual in question and the wider issue of the standards of behaviour expected in a press box. The ECB are keen to work with the CWC so that nothing of this nature happens in the UK while also looking to ensure the press box remains a safe place for everyone. 

The CWC is committed to promoting equality within the game, as emphasised in our recently updated and re-worked Constitution. This includes the protection of Members from discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, gender, age, disability and sexual orientation. Discussions with ECB officials, including chief executive Tom Harrison and ECB board member and head of women's cricket Clare Connor, will take place over the next couple of weeks on these matters. An update will be provided in due course to members to keep you informed on this issue.

Lunch/Dinner sub-Committee - Mark Baldwin writes:

An all-inclusive food and drinks package has again been arranged, with prices the Club is charged (£105 per person, incl VAT) held for 2018 (and 2019) at 2017 prices. As stated in the May Bulletin, this is an excellent result for the Club. CWC has paid the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel the required initial deposits but we now need to get ticket sales going so that we can meet the full bill come October 2

The full 2018 menu is below, plus this year’s ticket prices for Members and their guests, plus Media table rates etc All tickets include pre-dinner reception drinks, 3-course lunch + coffee/tea, unlimited white and red house wines + Fuller’s London Pride and Haresfoot’s CWC Ale.

CWC Book Award 2018 - Richard Hobson (chairman, Book Award sub-committee) writes:

The awards sub-committee of Murray Hedgcock, Tanya Aldred, Richard Whitehead, Raf Nicholson and myself have selected the following cricket books for our ‘Long List’, from which a shortlist will be selected by early August and, ultimately, a winner – to be announced at the Annual Lunch on October 2.

- Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket by Stephen Fay & David Kynaston (Bloomsbury)
- A Clear Blue Sky by Jonny Bairstow & Duncan Hamilton (Harper Collins)
- Connie, The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine by Harry Pearson (Little, Brown)
- Cricket: A Political History of the Global Game, 1945-2017 by Stephen Wagg (Routledge)
- Cut Short by James Taylor (White Owl)
- Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians by Boria Majumdar (Simon & Schuster)
- Feeling is the Thing That Happens in 100th of a Second by Christian Ryan - (riverrun)
- Hobbsy, A Life in Cricket by Rob Kelly (von Krumm Publishing)
- In Sunshine and in Shadow: Geoff Cope and Yorkshire Cricket by Stephen Chalke (Fairfield Books)
- The Lord of Lord's: The Life and Times of Lord Frederick Beauclerk by Mike Thompson (Christopher Saunders Books).

28th July 2018

​​MESSAGE FROM CLARE SKINNER (MCC)

Upstairs in the museum we are replacing the Warner Stand exhibition with one about the Media Centre and the function of the media, broadcasters and photographers at Lord’s.
 
We already have Dave Munden’s cameras and lenses, kindly purchased and then donated to MCC by Bob Thomas.
 
There are a few items I would like to obtain to illustrate the written press at Lord’s and I was hoping you could send this on to the CWC members to see if they can help.
 
- Shorthand pad with shorthand pages from a press conference – ideally we’d match this up with the finished article
- Notebooks with notes from a match
- Digital dictaphone
- Analogue dictaphone with tapes.

 
The Dictaphones don’t need to work, they are just to illustrate the equipment used.
 
We can either take these as donations or a loan for 12–18 months.
 
If any members think they may have something suitable could they please get in touch with me.

LORD'S TAVERNERS - ENGLAND TEST TEAM OF THE PAST 50 YEARS
 
I urge all Members to read the message below from Mike Hartwell, head of communications at the Lord’s Taverners, and for as many of you as possible to respond with your own selection and send on to Mike.
 
As you all know, the Club is in the middle of an initial three-year sponsorship partnership with the Taverners, which brings much-needed and valuable annual monies to CWC coffers – so it is precisely things like this that are important in terms of making this on-going partnership work. I, therefore, trust the CWC response to Mike’s invitation to contribute will be suitably swift and strong.
 
Regards to all,

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
12th August 2018
 
Mike Hartwell adds: 
 
On September 27, the Lord’s Taverners are hosting a fundraising dinner where they will be looking to debate and select England’s best Test XI from the past 50 years with a selection panel that includes Mark Nicholas, Andrew Strauss, Ed Smith and Henry Blofeld.
 
The Taverners are asking members of the Cricket Writers’ Club if you would help us by selecting your own England best Test XI from the past 50 years that we could use on social media and in the souvenir programme we are producing for the evening.
 
The event will be a fun-filled evening of lively cricket debate, but more importantly it will be raising much-needed funds to run the Lord’s Taverners cricket programmes to support disadvantaged and disabled young people from some of the UK’s most at-risk communities
.

JACK BAILEY 1930-2018

Jack Bailey, for many years a member of the Cricket Writers’ Club, died on July 14 at the age of 88.

He was best known as a former secretary and assistant secretary of MCC, but before going to Lord’s had written on cricket and rugby union for the Sunday Telegraph and, after his resignation from MCC in 1987, he wrote on county cricket for The Times and was a friendly colleague in press boxes around the country.

A fast-medium bowler, who represented Oxford University and Essex, he took 347 first-class wickets at the very decent average of 21.62 before retiring from the game before he had reached 30.

He served MCC as assistant secretary from 1967 until 1974, when he was appointed as secretary at a time when MCC also ran the international game. The Packer schism came on his watch, along with various other high-profile issues.

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
20th July, 2018

SIR TREVOR MCDONALD IS NEW PRESIDENT OF THE LORD'S TAVERNERS

Sir Trevor McDonald has been named as the next President of the Lord's Taverners, succeeding fellow broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson who has enjoyed a successful three years in the role.

Sir Trevor will become the 39th Lord's Taverners President and he joins a stellar list of sporting and entertainment personalities in the presidential seat who have led the charity in its work to enhance the lives of disadvantaged and disabled young people through sport and recreation.

On his upcoming role, Sir Trevor McDonald said: "I am immensely proud to be the President of the Lord's Taverners. The charity has a great tradition of its love for cricket and the importance of charitable work connected with this great game. I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of all the great Presidents before me, including Sir Michael Parkinson, who served with such distinction."

Outgoing President Sir Michael Parkinson, a long-standing CWC member, said: "The Presidency gave me a chance to appreciate the wonderful work done by our charity particularly among those who need most help, children with special needs and particular requirements. 

"I would also like to welcome Sir Trevor McDonald as the next President.  He has a deep love and understanding of cricket and his career as a broadcaster has been a distinguished and fascinating one.  I hope he enjoys the task as much as I have."

Lord's Taverners Chairman David Collier added: "We are deeply grateful to our outgoing President Sir Michael Parkinson who has been an outstanding President and Ambassador for the charity. The charity could not be more delighted to announce that Sir Trevor McDonald has agreed to become our President.

"His presence and experience will be invaluable to the charity as we seek to expand our support of disadvantaged and disabled young people during his Presidency."

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE

Mark Baldwin writes:

I said 12 months ago at the AGM, at Edgbaston, that we were starting a new era as a Club and - a year on - I am very happy to have been able to mark this year's AGM at Trent Bridge by reporting that we have made an extremely good start to that new era.

David ‘Plum' Warner has given CWC weighty service during his five years as President, and has been the soundest of sounding boards for me. I would like to congratulate Plum on the way he has carried out his duties, and for supporting the Club so well during his time in office. I know Plum is delighted that Mike Selvey has accepted the Committee's invitation to succeed Plum as our President and, personally, I look forward to having Selve's wise counsel at close hand in my final year as Chairman.

Besides the appointment of Selve as President, which was ratified by AGM, I was pleased also to announce at Trent Bridge that Ali Martin and Richard Gibson have both accepted invitations to join a newly-expanded Committee, along with William Powell, who has worked hard for the Club for many years in various capacities and was brought on to the Committee at our March meeting. I look forward to having both Ali's and Richard's input during Committee business. The make-up of our Club Committee is now very strong and is rightly representative of many different areas of the cricket media and the younger age profile of our full-time working members

PEARSON CROWNED FOR SECOND TIME

​Cricket Writers' Club members were again invited by MCC to help to host this year's Cricket Society/MCC Book of the Year Awards at a dinner in the Long Room at Lord's on April 17.

Author Harry Pearson, a former Guardian journalist and a previous winner, won the 2017 award with his book '
Connie: The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine' (Little,Brown).

I am grateful to Richard Hobson, the new chairman of CWC's own Cricket Book Award sub-committee, Richard Whitehead, Lawrence Booth, Alan Gardner, Will Macpherson, Dan Norcross and Graham Morris for joining me as 'event hosts' at the function, which was entertainingly MC'd by our own Vic Marks in his capacity as head judge of the Cricket Society/MCC award panel.

Emma John, another CWC member, gave an excellent, well-received and witty address to a packed Long Room in her role as keynote speaker.

CWC's Mike Selvey was a member of Marks' judging panel, and former CWC chairman Patrick Eagar spoke briefly to the room about being the subject of Christian Ryan's book 'Feeling is the Thing that Happens in 1000th of a Second', which was on a shortlist of six alongside Pearson's winner and 'A Clear Blue Sky' (Jonny Bairstow and Duncan Hamilton), 'In Sunshine and Shadow' (Stephen Chalke), 'Edging Towards Darkness' (John Lazenby) and 'Democracy's XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story' (Rajdeep Sardesai).

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
18th April, 2018

DAVE CALLAGHAN

The media world was shocked on March 12 to learn of the death of Dave Callaghan, who gave website ball-by-ball coverage of all of Yorkshire County Cricket Club's first team matches for Radio Leeds. He died following a heart attack three days earlier.

Dave, a full member of The Cricket Writers' Club, was also a much valued member of the Dinner sub-committee, and at the Club's awards lunch in 2016 he did a question-and-answer session with Australian Jason Gillespie who was about to end his five-year association with Yorkshire which saw them win the County Championship in two consecutive seasons.

CWC President and Yorkshire cricket writer, David Warner, paying tribute to Dave, said: "His sudden and untimely death has come as a terrible shock to me and my heart goes out to his wife, Pat, and their family.

"In all of my 44 seasons of covering Yorkshire cricket, I have not come across a more likable or friendly colleague who was a larger than life figure and who was a consummate professional.

"He was superbly suited to his earlier roles as Radio Leeds sports editor before joining the Rugby League for a while but he it was when he began covering Yorkshire CCC home and away that he found his perfect niche in life.

"When the BBC local radio stations began their ball-by-ball coverage of County Cricket I wondered if the long hours and total commitment which was necessary would prove too arduous for Dave, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

"He relished the challenge and was absolutely brilliant, not only giving day-long live commentary but also cutting in several times each hour to serve the local radio stations throughout Yorkshire.

"Dave led the way and his expertise was admired by colleagues doing a similar job with other counties around the country.

"Both the media and Yorkshire County Cricket Club have lost a dear friend whom it will be virtually impossible to replace but it must be of some comfort to all who knew him that he went out at the very top of his game.

"Dave's death is also deeply felt by Yorkshire scorer, John Potter, and the three of us had many a happy evening together when Yorkshire were playing at away venues."

"'He was the life and soul of any gathering and was respected by all of the players that he was so closely connected with,' said John."

Mark Baldwin, CWC chairman, added:

It is with very great sadness that I pass on the terrible news about Dave Callaghan, who died today. Further details are now on the Yorkshire County Cricket Club website, so please go to 

https://yorkshireccc.com/news/view/6390/dave-callaghan

Dave was held in great affection by so many people in cricket, both in our business and in the wider game. He was also an active contributor to the life of the Cricket Writers' Club, having served as a member of the Lunch sub-committee for a number of years. Indeed, the rest of us on this sub-committee were looking forward to seeing him next Monday (March 19) when we are holding the first main meeting of the year to plan and prepare for this October's Annual Lunch. As many of you will remember, Dave made a big contribution in particular to the Club's 70th anniversary lunch, held at the Merchant Taylor's Hall in London, in 2016, when he and Jason Gillespie performed a special version of their highly-popular stage double act 'Dizzy and Dave'. Can I join Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur (see Yorkshire website piece) in passing on my and the Club's heartfelt condolences to Dave's wife Pat and his family, and to echo the county's request to respect the Callaghan family's privacy at this time.

On what has been a truly sad day for CWC, I also learned earlier today of the death of Neil Bell, of BBC South East (and formerly of BBC Radio Kent) and another long-standing member of our Club, who had been suffering from cancer. Again, it is awful to lose such a popular and respected colleague at no great age, and the CWC's thoughts also go to Neil's family.

DAVID MUNDEN

The Cricket Writers’ Club has surely never endured a sadder 24 hours. Soon after the awful news of the deaths of Dave Callaghan and Neil Bell comes confirmation that David Munden has finally lost a long battle against Parkinson’s Disease.

Many CWC members will recall David’s fine cricket photography, and his immensely likeable character, but he was also a talented batsman who played for Leicestershire Second XI from 1975 until 1981 and was a contemporary of David Gower, with whom he also represented England Under 19s.

His passion for cricket was evident in the way he took to photographing the game once he realised he would not go on to enjoy a senior county career, and he was a highly popular and much-respected colleague in and around press boxes at home and abroad. Cruelly, David’s illness eventually forced him to retire from his photographic work and he fought against the debilitations of Parkinson’s for many years.

On behalf of CWC, I would like to send our condolences and best wishes to David’s family. The losses of David, ‘Cally’ and Neil Bell – all relatively young, and all within such a short time of each other – have hit this Club hard, but in different ways and across different mediums the three of them contributed much to the promotion and presentation of cricket to a wide audience and they will be remembered with huge affection. What they shared, meanwhile, was a deep love of cricket and respect for the game.

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
13th March, 2018

PARKY GIVES OUT THE GONGS AT LORD'S EVENT

Sir Michael Parkinson, President of the Lord's Taverners and a long-standing member of the Cricket Writers' Club, was at Lord's on March 12 to hand out the ECB's Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards for 2017.

The awards ceremony took place in the Pelham's Restaurant, at the top of the Warner Stand, and was linked to a special reception – hosted by the Taverners – for Essex County Cricket Club, winners of the 2017 Specsavers County Championship, and the Lancashire Women's team, winners of the 2017 Royal London Women's One-Day Cup.

The Cricket Writers' Club, which actively supports both the ECB's Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards and the ongoing work of the Lord's Taverners, was represented by Mark Baldwin, chairman of CWC, and Peter Baxter, who was part of the judging panel for the Christopher Martin-Jenkins Domestic Cricket Broadcaster of the Year Award.

For the past two years, CWC has made £2,500 available from Club subscriptions to go towards the prize fund for the Regional Newspaper of the Year award category, in a bid to highlight the help needed to maintain standards of domestic cricket coverage in hard-pressed regional titles.

Pictured in the slideshow above are the winners (or their representatives) receiving their awards from Sir Michael, who spoke beforehand in a Q&A with Chris Cowdrey about his lifelong love of cricket and the importance of cricket writing and other media coverage to the overall health of the game.

Colin Graves, the ECB Chairman who was present at the event, said: "County cricket has been honoured to have our champions invited to Buckingham Palace to receive their medals from the Duke of Edinburgh, the patron of the Lord's Taverners, since 1973.

"That era had to end when it was announced last May that His Royal Highness would not be carrying out public engagements from the autumn – fittingly, on a day when he was here at Lord's.

"So congratulations and thanks are due to the Lord's Taverners and everyone else involved in finding an equally fitting way to recognise the 2017 champions. Sir Michael Parkinson's deep love of cricket is well-known, and I know the players of both Essex and Lancashire appreciated his presence at the event. Sir Michael was also an ideal man to present the ECB Domestic Cricket Journalism Awards.

"County cricket journalism has suffered two sad losses in recent days, with the deaths of the former BBC Kent reporter Neil Bell, and the Yorkshire cricket correspondent Dave Callaghan. The amount of tributes to both these men has underlined again the superb coverage that county cricket receives from the BBC, and the genuine affection for the journalists and commentators who provide it.

"We at the ECB are consistently grateful for that, and we send our condolences to their families and friends. They will be missed and remembered in the forthcoming season."

CWC SPRING BULLETIN 2018

Chairman's Message
Mark Baldwin writes:


Like the old British Empire, the sun never sets on The Cricket Writers' Club and many of our members have spent this winter criss-crossing the globe. I hope they have enough energy left when the fast-approaching domestic season starts up again in April.

CWC's administration also continues apace during the winter months and there is still more business to be done before our 2018 AGM on Wednesday April 25 at Trent Bridge. This also doubles as the club's early-season social, following the excellent lead of last year's Edgbaston gathering, and I hope to see as many members as possible – and especially those based in the Midlands and the North – in the Boundary's Edge suite on April 25, from 12.30pm. The AGM will begin around 2.00pm.


Items on the agenda include a redrawn club Constitution, which needs to be ratified by members (it will be circulated to every club member ahead of the AGM), and full details of this year's Annual Lunch, which is to be held again at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge following the signing of a new two-year deal with the venue. This year's Lunch will take place on Tuesday October 2, so please get that in your diaries along with the AGM date.


A full Committee meeting is scheduled for early March, at which a number of important decisions are due to be made, and there are also various sub-Committee meetings next month. I am hoping that further detail about the future structure and financial health of the club can be reported to the AGM.


In the meantime, I am grateful once again to Gemma Wright, our Handbook Editor, for all her hard work in ensuring the 2018 edition is getting itself ready for printing in late March and circulation to all members in early April.


Many thanks, too, to the continued efforts of the secretarial team of Alan Gardner, Will Macpherson, Bruce Talbot, Vithushan Ehantharajah and Julian Guyer, to Marcus Hook, our Treasurer, and to the members of the various sub-Committees whose work is vital to the continued efficiency of the club's week-to-week administration.
 
Lead Secretary's message
Alan Gardner writes:


With the days getting longer, Siberian winds whipping across the land and a ruckus brewing about balancing the game's three formats, it can surely only mean one thing: a new season is almost upon us. Well done for making it through the winter months, whether that was dealing with cold, miserable conditions in the UK, or hot, miserable conditions following England down under (ODIs aside).

The main job of the secretarial team over the winter involved redrafting the constitution – largely streamlining and updating various sections, as well as fully incorporating all the awards organised by the Club – in order for it to be voted on at this year's AGM. A fair bit has changed in both the game and the way the CWC is run since the constitution was last looked at in 2012, so hopefully, once it has been put to the Committee, our changes will meet the approval of the Membership.
This is also a good opportunity to send a reminder about how to propose new Members, which should be done in time for the Committee to access candidates ahead of the AGM. Details of the process can be found at the following web address, but please feel free to contact me directly with any questions:
http://www.cricketwriters.com/how-to-join.html


It has been an enjoyable ten months in the job as Lead Secretary and the new system seems to be working well. My thanks, as always, to the chairman and my fellow secretariat members for sharing the load. I look forward to handing over to the safe hands of Vithushan in due course and seeing the addition of a suitably substantial name to the CWC honours board.
 
From the President
David Warner writes:


For those Cricket Writers' Club members who are with England in New Zealand the 2018 domestic season will still seem to be in the far distant future, but for those of us who have endured a long English winter it will feel to be just around the corner.

If you are likely to be covering cricket at the newly-named Emerald Headingley in the Spring, then be prepared to look out on to a much changing scene.

No sooner was last season over than a massive redevelopment programme got underway affecting both the cricket and rugby grounds. The South stand of the rugby ground was quickly demolished with the new structure rapidly taking shape and at around the same time the shared North-South grandstand was bulldozed.

Because it was sandwiched in between two very expensive playing surfaces and with extremely cramped conditions in which to work, the stand took around eight weeks to flatten instead of what would have been three weeks or so in more normal circumstances.

Fortunately, reasonable weather has meant the redevelopment work is on schedule and the foundations for the North-South stand are now in and the steel work was able to begin on February 19. Huge amounts of concrete have been pumped into the foundations and one section alone was filled with 250 tonnes.

The floors are expected to start going down at the beginning of March and the stand will then start to work its way up and towards the building which once housed the old pavilion, the two structures eventually connecting.

It will take 20-plus weeks to get the stand assembled, so hacks covering Yorkshire and England from the Press Box in the Carnegie Pavilion will have plenty of other action to watch as well as from the cricket. The aim is to have all the work completed in time for the 2019 season when the ground will stage an Ashes Test and World Cup matches.

It is a rapidly changing game and I wish you all well in covering it throughout the 2018 season.
Finally, try to make it if you possible can to the CWC Annual General Meeting at Trent Bridge on April 25. Attendances were up last year when it was held at Edgbaston and let's hope we can go on building up numbers this time.
 
Treasurer's report
Marcus Hook writes:


Thanks again to all the members who paid for their ticket(s) for the CWC annual lunch well in advance. It helped the Club's cash-flow immensely, as the venue insists on payment in full prior to the event. Ticket prices for this year's lunch will be announced in due course.
 
Books
Richard Hobson writes:


Having repIaced Stephen Brenkley as chairman late last year, my first job was to put together a group for the 2018 award. Murray Hedgcock and Tanya Aldred have agreed to continue - which I really appreciate - alongside newcomers Richard Whitehead and Raf Nicholson. There's a good mix of youth, experience, writers, historians and academics, plus myself. Trevor Bond and Andrew McGlashan have stepped down this year. Brenks was keen to have a regular flow of panellists and if anyone wants to come on board in future, let me know.

At the moment, the panel operates more by convention than constitution. The ‘year' runs from July 1 to June 30 and contenders must be a piece of original cricket writing. Annuals (e.g. Wisden) and anthologies (e.g. Wisden at the Oval) have not been considered eligible, but I can see a case for admitting both and will have a bigger think about this before we start to consider 2019.


Brenks deserves a special mention. He established the award in the first place, then chaired the panel for its first 11 years. Last year alone, he read 38 cricket books in the line of duty (as well as pleasure). Anyone listening to his speeches at the dinner/lunch would have recognised his diligence.
 
Lunch sub-committee report
Mark Baldwin writes:


The Lunch sub-Committee is due to meet on March 19 and, with subsequent approval from full Committee, is planning to outline all details for this year's Annual Lunch at the AGM on April 25. Ticket prices, menu choices etc. will hopefully be ratified by AGM attendees, as is necessary, and this detail will be circulated to all club members immediately afterwards.

If, however, you want to go ahead and reserve your place at this year's Lunch, which takes place on Tuesday October 2 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, Knightsbridge, then please contact Shilpa Patel in the first instance. (
shilpa.patel69@live.co.uk)
 
Lord's Taverners Impact Report 2017
Mike Hartwell writes:


The Lord's Taverners are creating more opportunities than ever before for young people from deprived areas and those with disabilities to engage in cricket and sport in their local communities.

Last year, the charity invested £4.4m in new equipment, facilities, resources and the significant expansion of all its cricket programmes across the UK. More than 300 schools play Table Cricket across 30 county boards, its Disability Cricket programme is now being delivered in London, Birmingham and Manchester with a further three locations set to be active by the end of 2018, while Wicketz is now delivered in 13 locations across the UK with more to come.


Read more about the work of the Lord's Taverners in their annual Impact Report online
www.lordstaverners.org/impact_report_2017/mobile/index.html and if you can, please use your Twitter accounts to help increase the awareness of their work and reference @lordstaverners in your message.


SREEPUR CHRISTMAS CARDS
BY MATTHEW ENGEL

In 1981 a young British Airways stewardess, on a stopover in Dhaka, looked around at the squalor and the street kids and decided she wanted to do something. The upshot, with the support of the airline and many colleagues, was the Sreepur Village, opened in 1989. It is home to hundreds of destitute mothers and their children, and orphans as well, and has brought hope and chances - and sometimes university degrees - to generations of kids who would have otherwise had nothing.

Cricket has played a big part in Sreepur's life, particularly for the girls; one former villager is now close to selection for the Bangladesh women's team. England's cricketers first visited Sreepur in 1998; five years later a boy in a T-shirt and shorts peppered Andrew Flintoff with tennis-ball bouncers; in 2016 the girls' team met the players in Dhaka. 

Sreepur's fund-raising speciality has long been its Christmas cards, hand-made by the mothers, and sold in the UK. In 2010 The Guardian's money pages alerted the public to the fact that most charity cards only gave 10% of the proceeds back to the charity whereas the Sreepur cards offered 100%.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2010/nov/13/sreepur-christmas-cards-charity

However, Sreepur now faces unprecedented difficulties: BA no longer flies to Dhaka and so that connection is fading; the price of rice has rocketed; and, of course, the pound no longer goes as far as it did, even in Bangladesh. The funding the girls' team has had for professional coaching is now in jeopardy.

If any CWC member still hasn't bought their Christmas cards, then please visit 
http://www.sreepurcards.org/

Alternatively you can donate via
https://www.sreepurvillage.org/ This site also gives details of The Big Give, which runs for a week from midday GMT next Tuesday. In that period all donations to Sreepur will receive matched funding that will double all gifts.

Many thanks and Happy Christmas.

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Stephen Brenkley has completed a splendid and dedicated spell of 11 years as chairman of the CWC Book Award sub-Committee. It is entirely down to Brenks' energy and vision that this Award has gone from strength to strength since 2007, when it was launched in large part because of Brenks' desire that the Club should have a cricket writing award for cricket writers. Remarkable that the Club didn't think of that one before, isn't it? I know Brenks is rightly very proud of the work he and his many sub-committee 'helpers' have done in establishing this award over the past decade, and that he is delighted that Richard Hobson has agreed to take over from him as chairman of the Book Award sub-Committee. As Brenks has done for its first 11 years, Hobbo will be rounding up a small panel to debate and discuss the identity of the 2018 CWC Book Award which will be announced at next year's Annual Lunch. Very many thanks, Brenks, for all you've done and many thanks, too, to Hobbo for taking on this role. Talking of the CWC Annual Lunch, the 2018 version will take place on Tuesday October 2, again at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge. ECB, MCC and PCA have already been consulted about the date, which we hope will not clash with any other end-of-season events being planned. Please mark the date in your 2018 diaries - assuming, that is, Father Christmas brings you one in your stocking.

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
9th December, 2017


TWO BOOKS FOR THE XMAS LIST

CWC members Colin Bateman and Colin Evans have books out in good time for Christmas.

The former CWC Chairman, Colin Evans has penned 'Farokh - The Cricketing Cavalier', a 208-page biography of the former India and Lancashire wicketkeeper, which includes 32 pages of images and forewords by Sunil Gavaskar, Sir John Major and Jeffrey Archer; and a front cover portrait by the artist Christina Pierce.

Evans says: "Farokh and I worked together on this book for 12 months. He reckons I'm a 'facts and figures' man which is surprising because, as many ex-colleagues and cricketers would attest, I could never have been accused of that during my time as a reporter!"

Publisher Max Books (
www.maxbooks.co.uk), Epworth House, 34 Wellington Road, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 7BX. Normal price £12.50, it is offered to members at £9.99 (including p and p). Orders direct from Max Books on line or by post. Cheques payable to Max Books.

Meanwhile, Colin Bateman has had his first novel published. Bateman says: "Many said that much of my journalistic work was pure fiction but this most definitely is. The first novel is finally out after a painful three-year gestation period. 'A Dreadful Trade' is what I would term a thriller, a bit of a whodunit, but not a cop novel. It has nothing to do with cricket, but don't let that put you off.


"If you would like to support a poor, struggling author (there is a reduced price of £9.00 for CWC members), please get in touch via email colinjbateman@hotmail.com"

WILLIAM HILL EXTEND CWC SPONSORSHIP

Following a meeting with Rupert Adams and Tony Rushmer, attended by myself and David Fulton on behalf of CWC, I am delighted to announce that William Hill have extended their long-running sponsorship of the Cricket Writers' Club into 2018, on the same financial level as before. This is excellent news for the club and I am sure I speak for all members when I reiterate how appreciative we are of William Hill's continued support.

As ever, I urge members to mention William Hill odds - and speciality bets - whenever relevant and appropriate in copy. These odds, as all members know, are sent out regularly by email and, additionally, Rupert Adams (
radams@williamhill.co.uk) is always available to give any further information that is required with regards to Test, ODI, T20 and domestic cricket odds, or speciality bets.

Mark Baldwin, CWC chairman
24th November, 2017

HARESFOOT BREWERY TOUR

CWC sponsors Haresfoot Brewery are running two exclusive brewery tours of their new site in Chesham in November. Those who book a tour can learn about the brewery's history, and the tour is followed by a tasting session with food also provided.

The tours are perfect for individuals, couples or small groups, and take place on Friday 17th November at 7.30pm and Saturday 18th November at 2pm. Please go to Haresfoot's brewery website to book (
www.haresfootbreweryshop.com).


Haresfoot's range of beers and speciality ales will also be available to buy during the event, including the CWC Ale, All-Rounder.

CHAIRMAN'S AUTUMN MESSAGE

What with the Ben Stokes Affair, the Oval Arrow, the Nat-Meg and the England Women's World Cup triumph, plus the return of Essex and the one-day heroics of Notts Outlaws, Jimmy's 500 and much else besides – plus the little matter of an upcoming Ashes series – it has been a summer of hard toil for cricket writers and cricket's media. Then again, ‘twas ever thus!

As for the Cricket Writers' Club, we have made what I believe are significant strides towards bedding in the new-look administrative structure. It is my intention, as Chairman, to return the Club to a situation in which the secretarial officers are clearly seen to be running our week-to-week affairs, supported of course by the Treasurer, Chairman and other Committee and sub-Committee members.


In the first three years of my chairmanship, from April 2014 to April of this year, much of the Club's administrative work was left to myself and especially to Wendy Wimbush in her long-established and hugely dedicated multi-roles. On Wendy's retirement from active frontline duty, back in March, we as a Club were required to address the question of how to keep things running without Wendy's hand on the tiller, as it were.


It was never going to be an easy task, but I am delighted that Marcus Hook, as Treasurer, and Shilpa Patel, on the Lunch sub-Committee, have stepped up with marked success to their new roles and that, on the secretarial side, Alan Gardner has quickly proved himself an excellent Lead Secretary for an initial period up to April 2018. As explained, and agreed, at the AGM at Edgbaston in April, Vithushan Ehantharajah will get his chance to experience the Lead Secretary's role in an initial year from next April, followed by Will Macpherson from April 2019 to April 2020.


By then, all three will have a better idea of how the Club runs itself, and its ongoing issues, and I am confident that Alan, Vish and Will – supported throughout by Bruce Talbot and Julian Guyer as assistant secretaries – will then be in a strong position to agree among themselves how best to take the secretarial side of the Club forward into the longer-term. All three of them will, I hope, be at the heart of the Club's life for many more years to come.


From my perspective, it is pleasing to see the five-man secretarial team successfully, and efficiently, carrying out the Club's administration this past summer and, by sharing the workload, I hope it has not proved too onerous for any of them. My thanks go to all five for their input so far, and their adaptability in making the new structure work.


The Annual Lunch, on October 3, was another notable success, with an attendance of 270 and almost all of our award winners being present on the day. I have received very many messages, from members and guests alike, saying how much they enjoyed the occasion and this, of course, reflects hugely on the efforts of the Lunch sub-committee, of Shilpa and Marcus in particular with regards to table planning and ticket sales, and to David Fulton for another brilliant performance as MC. Well done to all those Club members who supported the Lunch, and to the many who also brought along guests.


As a result of its success, the Lunch sub-Committee and full Committee have already acted quickly to secure the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel as our Annual Lunch venue for another two years. We have signed-off on a deal which means we can hold both the 2018 and 2019 lunches at the hotel, on the same all-inclusive rate. This is a fine result for the Club, and I am once again grateful to Dominic van den Bergh for his help in negotiating this new two-year deal on our behalf.


Since the Lunch, the Committee have met to discuss various ongoing issues, and it will meet again in the Spring. Alan Gardner and myself – plus other members of the secretarial team and Committee – have also met to begin a re-drafting of the Club Constitution. This will be circulated to all members ahead of the AGM next year, once full Committee have passed it, for adoption at the AGM which, to remind everyone, will be held in April 2018 at Trent Bridge (date TBC).


Winter well.


Mark Baldwin, CWC chairman
30th October, 2017

XTC - THIS IS POP

Charlie Thomas, latterly of Sky Sports News and a long-serving CWC member and former Fleet Street Wanderers ‘all-rounder', would like to inform all Club members about the upcoming screening of two more music documentaries in which he has been involved in producing.

Many members will have seen films produced in recent years on 10cc and UB40 and Charlie informs us that his latest documentary, 'XTC - This Is Pop', goes out on Sky Arts on Saturday October 7th at 9.00pm, featuring Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap), Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Clem Burke (Blondie), plus of course XTC themselves.


A further film about Fairport Convention follows in November, featuring Steve Winwood, Ian Anderson, Rick Wakeman and original member Richard Thompson, who is an avid cricket fan and, despite living in LA these days, still follows England's fortunes on Test Match Special.


Mark Baldwin, CWC chairman
25th September, 2017


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Trevor McDonald

HOW TO JOIN / NOMINATING NEW MEMBERS OF THE CRICKET WRITERS' CLUB


The procedure for nominating new members of The Cricket Writers' Club - CLICK HERE

For more details email
Gemma Wright, CWC Membership Secretary.

Jack Bailey

Harry Pearson -
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of Learie Constantine
(MCC / Cricket Society
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