SLIDESHOW (above):

August 13 (Dulwich) - Dan Lucas charity cricket match.

June 6 (The Pavilion End, London) - William Hill / CWC Cricket Evening. Left to right: David Fulton, Henry Blofeld and Stephen Harmison.

2016 ​ECB County Journalism Award winners...

May 19 (Lord's). Left to right: Will Macpherson (Young County Journalist of the Year), Alex Narey (The Cricket Paper - County Cricket Newspaper of the Year), Andrew Miller (ESPN CricInfo - Online Publication of the Year) and Tom Harrison (ECB's chief executive).

​April 25 (CWC AGM - Edgbaston). Left to right: Mark Baldwin (CWC chairman), Richard Latham (The Sunday Independent - Regional Newspaper of the Year) and Chris Haynes (ECB's director of communications).


The All-Rounder, which is now available in bottles from Haresfoot Brewery.


DAN LUCAS CHARITY CRICKET MATCH
BY ANDREW MILLER

Dan Lucas, the Guardian journalist who tragically died earlier this year at the age of 31, was fondly remembered at a charity cricket match in South London on August 13, in which a team comprising family members and former colleagues went down fighting against the disciplined renegades of Guerilla Cricket, the alternative internet commentary service for whom he was a regular contributor.

The event, which was organised by Lucas’s partner, Elizabeth Aubrey, and held at the Edward Alleyn ground in Dulwich, raised £1310 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The day also featured a barbeque, a raffle, and the very definition of a “win-first-and-bowl” tea, which was the one correct call made by the home team, Groundskeeper Willie’s XI, named in honour of one of Dan’s favourite Simpsons characters.

Obliged to bat first and face the cakes later, the Guerilla No-Stars amassed a hefty 250 for 8 in their 30 overs, with runs all down the order - 40s apiece from Roger McCann, orchestral double-bassist and high-elbowed stylist, and Louis Bishop, whose five sixes helped add 97 runs in the last nine overs. David Franklin, Jon Harwood and Andy Ward each chipped in with 30s to set a challenging target.

Willie’s XI (which actually turned out to be XVI in the end...) were an enthusiastic but rusty outfit, with several players making their first appearances in close to two decades. One such comeback kid, Gary Lucas, Dan’s dad, shrugged off a dodgy ankle to claim Test Match Special’s Dan Norcross for a duck, but later pulled his hamstring turning for a tight second run. He batted on regardless, and even smacked a straight six in the closing overs to reduce the eventual margin of defeat to less than 100.

Special mention must also be made of the Evening Standard journalist Ben Morgan, who took the pre-match reminder to bring your own box so literally that he turned up with a cardboard packing case.

The Guerilla bowling was led admirably by the spin twins, Nigel “The Bear” Walker, who claimed 3 for 26, and Jason Hiscox, who picked up at least one wicket in each of his five overs for a startling return of 6 for 17. 

Resistance eventually came from the Guardian’s Ed Aarons, who made 42, and the Willies’ captain, ESPNcricinfo’s Andrew Miller, whose unbeaten 35 was arguably the highest score by a No.14 batsman since the 18 men of Dandenong faced AE Stoddart’s England in 1894-95.

Prior to that denouement, there was time for Norcross to dislocate his finger while dropping a catch that had already gone for six - an injury that enabled him to take up a far more fitting fielding position in the corner of the bar - while the over of the day was arguably served up by McCann, who managed to maintain his line and length while pulling off fine impersonations of Andrew Caddick, Merv Hughes, Malcolm Marshall (genuinely uncanny), Shane Warne, Darren Gough and Phil Tufnell (not as accurate as the rest, but it was delivered left-arm so we’ll forgive him).

It was left to Guerilla’s captain, Nigel Henderson, to lift the Dan Lucas Memorial Cup, at the end of a brilliant and enthusiastically supported day that will surely become an annual tradition.

ALL-ROUNDER NOW AVAILABLE IN BOTTLES

CWC members and friends are urged to take advantage of a 10 per cent discount (discount code available in recent internal Club emails and in July Bulletin) when purchasing All-Rounder (Cricket Writers' Club Ale) in bottled form. A 3.7 per cent quaffing ale, made with English and Australian hops, it is now available in 500ml bottles and can be bought online from Haresfoot Brewery's newly-launched E-shop

www.haresfootbreweryshop.com

...and delivered to your door. The 10 per cent discount is available to CWC members and friends on all Haresfoot beers. Casks of All-Rounder are also available and can be bought direct from Haresfoot Brewery (please ring for details).

DEREK HODGSON REMEMBERED

Former Cricket Writers' Club president and secretary, Derek Hodgson, was remembered with great affection by the many mourners who attended his funeral service at Altrincham Crematorium on June 26.

Derek, who served as secretary from 1986-2004 and president from 2004-2008, died suddenly on June 10, aged 87. He and long-serving treasurer, Wendy Wimbush, were jointly responsible through their hard work for significantly boosting the CWC membership during the 1980s.

There was a good representation of CWC members at the funeral service and the congregation would almost certainly have been boosted further if a full round of Championship matches had not started on the same day.

Current CWC president, David Warner, gave the eulogy and remarked that, as the service began, Yorkshire County Cricket Club were starting an extraordinary general meeting at Headingley. How Derek would have chuckled at the synchronizing of those two events, he suggested.

Derek would, however, have been less pleased that at two o'clock in the afternoon that day Yorkshire and the other counties would be starting an experimental batch of Championship matches using pink balls with floodlights clicking on and play continuing until around 9.30pm. He would have shaken his head in disbelief.

We were all living in a changing world but for family and friends alike happy memories of Derek would remain unaffected and undimmed by the passing of time.

Derek's family also played an active part in a service which he himself had carefully planned. His daughter, Judith Hayward, gave a reading from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; granddaughter, Josie Hodgson, recited Adlestrop by Edward Thomas, and elder son, Guy, gave a reading from Neville Cardus while younger son, Myles, a longstanding member of the CWC, recalled memories of his dad.

Donations in Derek's memory will benefit the NSPCC and can be sent to Ashton Brookes Funeral Directors, Churchside, Church Street, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 4DB.

DEREK HODGSON

​Derek Hodgson, a former President of The Cricket Writers' Club, died suddenly on June 10, at his home in Great Warford, Cheshire. He was 87. Derek, a Life Member of the Club, served as President from 2004-2008 and as a long-serving and influential Secretary from 1986 to 2004. He was one of its most popular and well-respected members.

Born in Morley, Derek had a great affection for Yorkshire County Cricket Club which he joined as a member in 1948 and 12 years' ago he was one of around 80 of the Club's members who received special medals to mark 50 years or more of continuous service. One of cricket's most experienced journalists, Derek covered many of England's tours abroad and for many years he covered Yorkshire's tempestuous fortunes, travelling home and away with the team.

He was Northern Cricket Correspondent for the Daily Express before serving national newspapers as a freelance for a while, but some of his happiest years covering the game he loved came when he joined The Independent which he served until his retirement. In 1989, Derek wrote The Carnegie Official History of Yorkshire County Cricket, a book which was updated ten years later. He was also joint author with Stephen Chalke of the acclaimed book No Coward Soul, The Remarkable Story of Bob Appleyard.

The Cricket Writers' Club's current president, David Warner, said: "Derek's death has come as a great shock to all who knew him and held him in such affectionate regard. It was my privilege to work alongside him when I first started covering county cricket in 1975 and he and his family became close friends. He was a man who truly loved the game and he wrote about it in a gentle and informative way which endeared him to his readers.

"In 2009 I succeeded Derek as editor of the Yorkshire CCC Yearbook which he had brought up-to-date with interesting articles, which made it so much more than a mere book of statistics. The thoughts of all CWC members are with his widow, Doreen, their sons Guy and Myles, and their daughter, Judith."

Mark Baldwin, CWC chairman, said: "Many Members will be very sad to hear about Hoddy's passing. He and Wendy Wimbush have been the Club's two greatest servants and he was also hugely supportive in recent years to those of us who have tried to build on all the hard work he did for CWC. Can I also pass on my personal condolences to Myles and Guy, his sons, and to the wider Hodgson family."

Former chairman Pat Gibson added: "I knew Derek for more than 50 years and can honestly say that the Cricket Writers' Club never had a prouder member or more dedicated servant. Indeed there were times when he was Secretary and, later, President that he and Wendy Wimbush, an equally dedicated Treasurer, seemed to be keeping the club afloat on their own.

"He gave  his successors in whatever position they held tremendous support and continued to take a keen interest in all our activities. He will be sadly missed by his many friends in football - we  both covered Grimsby Town in our early days and remained staunch supporters - as well as cricket and our thoughts are with his wife and sons."


Another former CWC chairman, Colin Evans said: "As we all know Derek, with Wimbers, was the driving force behind the CWC's expansion and he gave me, among many others, such unstinting support and encouragement.

"We had some memorable days in the original Old Trafford box which he enshrined in cricket history while describing a storm-lashed championship game for the Daily Telegraph:

'Not that the Manchester Press corps were entirely alive to the cricket as the monstrous wind threatened to blow in the back of their wooden hut and carry it, and them, off the top of the ladies' stand and into the Ship Canal.

'While the loss of a few cricket writers might cause little comment the destruction of the Press box, a temporary structure erected in 1946, would certainly alarm the National Trust.'


"Brilliant. 

"While that old box often rocked in the wind it also shook to gales of laughter when Derek, Peter Johnson (Daily Mail), Howard Booth (Daily Mirror) and my old partner Stan Miller joined forces.


"It's deeply saddening that Derek has gone but his sheer enthusiasm for life will always be remembered and can still inspire us."

John Woodcock, CWC President from 1986 to 2003, said: "In all my 70 years of journalism, I have had no more considerate, versatile or more widely-respected colleague than Derek. He has been too, of course, a pillar like very few others of The Cricket Writers' Club. Long may he be remembered with honour and affection."

Martin Johnson, the former cricket correspondent for the Independent, added: "I first got to know Derek when I joined the Independent in 1986, and have nothing but fond memories. He was a very fine journalist, and a great help to me in my first job on a national newspaper. But above all else, he was a bloody good bloke."

David Llewellyn, who also worked for Derek at the Independent, said: "The death of Derek Hodgson is an immense loss to the club and to the cricket world in general. I first met him when he was correspondent of The Daily Star and enjoyed many an interesting day in this or that press box. He was a fund of great tales of cricket and cricketers and shamefully I would occasionally even wish for rain when he appeared in a box.

"He was one of the calmest of reporters, never phased by a late flurry of wickets or a last ball winning boundary. He passed on a great deal of advice to me, not least on how to approach working for the broadsheets. His transition from red top to quality newspaper seemed to give him a new lease of life and he was deeply grateful not to have to write 'quotes-driven' copy every day.

"His pieces for The Independent were thoughtful, insightful and invariably prescient. He was especially proud of his editorship of the Yorkshire CCC handbook, I remember reviewing it for the Indy, along with the then other 16 counties efforts, and they all paled into insignificance when compared with this stunning tome, which was so lovingly and carefully put together. It was a fabulous vade mecum, and I am sure still is.

"Hoddy was a lovely man with whom to spend a day at the cricket, and great company after a day's play in a bar. My condolences go to his widow Doreen, his sons Myles, Guy and their sister Judith."

Tim Taylor, a former colleague of Hodgson's on the Daily Express, added: "Hoddy was a friend in the now defunct Northern office of the Express in the 1970s. As I long ago turned to golf as my summer sport, there are countless people far more qualified  to describe how good Hoddy was at his trade.

"I am hard pressed to think of a kinder, charming and more likeable journalist who made a huge impression on whippersnappers like me, around 20 years his junior, in terms of how to treat people. Hoddy was a lovely lovely man.

"A line of his that sticks in my memory referred, as best as I can remember, to a report of his I subbed on a day's play in which Yorkshire had been bowled out in a day and brutalised by West Indies fast bowlers representing Surrey on what we used to refer to as a "terror track",  possibly at Abbeydale.

"Somebody somewhere on the ground must have had access to a radio or jukebox because Hoddy's report ended something like... To add to the pain and humiliation, they left the pitch at close of play to the sound of Whispering Grass!"

The cricket broadcaster and journalist, Ralph Dellor said: "I seem to have known Derek for almost as many years as I have been in the business and always found him to be friendly, helpful and incredibly good company. I am genuinely saddened by the news of his passing; another great stalwart of the press box has gone leaving a void that cannot be filled. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him."


James M Greenfield, Production Editor for the Yorkshire CCC Yearbook, and formerly Chief Sub-Editor of the Yorkshire Post added: "Derek Hodgson, long-time secretary of the Cricket Writers’ Club and later president, was a journalist of national renown who never forgot the grass roots. He reckoned he held the record for speaker visits to the Wombwell Cricket Lovers’ Society, where I am chairman, although I think that record was actually held by Yorkshire President John Hampshire, who died earlier this year.

"As 'Father of the Yorkshire Press Box' Derek was an unstinting mentor to the younger cricket writers, and when David Warner and I were invited to edit Yorkshire’s White Rose magazine on the death of John Featherstone in 1998 Derek was always to the fore in offering us a column free of charge. As a cricket-society speaker Derek was the all-rounder: his fund of stories from a lifetime of cricket-watching had the after-dinner audience clutching their sides, and on the cold dark evenings when we huddled in the workingmen’s club he warmed us with the well cooked meat and drink of cricket chat.

"Derek’s last visit to the Wombwell was with Bob Appleyard to launch the biography of Bob, No Coward Soul, co-written with Stephen Chalke. No one had known until then the full story of the family tragedy and life-threatening illness from which Bob had returned to play for Yorkshire and nine Test matches for England including the 1954-5 Ashes. It may not have been Derek’s best seller...but it surely was his most powerful work."

Mike Coward, past president of the Australian Cricket Media Association, wrote: "Derek would have understood an Australian obituarist referring to him passing on not at 87 but in his 88th year. Superstitions run deep in Australian cricket. This Derek knew. Australian cricket writers of a certain age were deeply saddened to learn of Derek’s sudden death but share the relief of his family, friends and many colleagues that his demise was painless and prompt after a happy family lunch.

"It has long been said that Australians and Yorkshire folk have a special affinity and certainly Derek had an easy rapport with Australians be they gathered together in the Old Dart or Down Under. Derek was thoughtful, approachable and non-judgmental and relished the conversation and banter of the press box and touring caravan where he spent so much of his life. Little wonder he made an inestimable contribution to The Cricket Writers’ Club.

"His care for the game and its people was always evident in his work and we can all give thanks that his son, Myles, has inherited so many of his father’s values, qualities and abilities. The thoughts and affection of the ACMA are especially with Myles, his siblings, his mother, Doreen and extended family."

Wendy Wimbush, when informing CWC members of Derek's death, wrote: "It was my great privilege to work with Derek for so many years, as we tried to increase the interest in The Cricket Writers' Club. When we took over in 1986 there were only around 80 Members. I recently had the pleasure of telling Hoddy that we had notched up 400. 

"We shall all miss his enormous enthusiasm, not only for cricket and cricketers, but for journalists and Members of this Club. We shall all miss his enormous wisdom and willingness to help with matters Constitutional. If you have not read it, I recommend his History of the Club, which is on the website.

"The only redeeming grace regarding his untimely death is that it has not condemned him - and his family - to a slow, lingering downward  demise. To have reached 87, to have enjoyed a delicious family lunch and then to die sitting in your favourite armchair... pray that such an end comes to us all."

Brian Scovell, a former Chairman and Secretary of The Cricket Writers' Club, added: "Hoddy was a giant in the CWC and we will remember him forever, passing on the right values in sport and its reporting. Very inspirational, thoroughly decent family man who always had an encouraging word for people, accompanied with a good laugh.

"I echo the wonderful tribute from Wendy - it comes to all of us and though the loss is acutely felt at the time it’s better to walk away quickly from the crease and not linger. We can celebrate his life, rather than grieve over it."

Stephen Whiting said: "It took me a bit of time to get over the news about Derek. I suppose it is fair to say that, after the retirement of Peter Laker, Hoddie became my closest pal, and I became his, particularly on England tours in the 80's before I was stabbed in the back by The Sun.

"We were both in the same boat. We both worked for papers that couldn't care less about the game unless Ian Botham or Geoff Boycott were involved. Hoddie's Daily Star were so enamoured with the Yorkshire opener that Hoddie threatened to break the letters G and B off my typewriter so I couldn't write about him.

"Yes... typewriter. Remember them? We would persuade a player or two to break the Trappist code of silence and honour us with a few 'nanny goats.' That happened in Montserrat early in 1981 where Hoddie and I shared a villa. We took it in turns to hide on the verandah while the other bellowed his copy over the island's less than pristine telephone system.

"Then Hoddie, never one to miss the holiday attractions of an England tour to exotic locations, persuaded me to accompany him, guided by a local named Jim Corbett, whose parents must have loved boxing, on an ascent of the ill fated volcano Soufriere. On the way up we stumbled across a German couple expressing their admiration for each other behind a rock. The volcano became so heated that some years later, in July 1996, it erupted.

"And only Hoddie would have taken a day off during the 1980 Jubilee Test trip to Bombay - as it was then called - to catch a rickety old ferry across the harbour to immerse himself in the famous Elephanta Caves.

"Yet if Hoddie had to die - and we all do - it was marvellous that he had a good meal first. I think he might have planned it that.way. He liked good food, did Hoddie. I could think of better looking companions for a platter of lobsters in the moonlight under swaying palms in Colombo. But I couldn't think of a more agreeable one.

"RIP Hoddie."


WILLIAM HILL / CWC CRICKET EVENING

Ashes winner Stephen Harmison, and Cricket Writers' Club members Henry Blofeld and David Fulton, royally entertained a packed private room at The Pavilion End pub, in the City, in the latest William Hill/CWC 'Cricket Evening' on June 6.

More than 60 invited guests much enjoyed a stream of cricket stories - laugh-out-loud and insightful - from former England fast bowler Harmison and Test Match Special commentator 'Blowers', with Fulton expertly handling an event which was part-show, part-Q&A session.

The evening followed a similar event in 2016, with CWC helping William Hill to stage it and Fuller's Brewery providing both the venue, food and drinks, and a number of additional invited guests. William Hill's Rupert Adams said: "It was a terrific evening's entertainment. I can't wait for the next one."

CWC much values the long-standing sponsorship support it has received from both William Hill and Fuller's, and these Cricket Evenings are a big part of the on-going relationship between us.

Mark Baldwin, CWC chairman

13th June, 2017

SUNDAY INDEPENDENT RECEIVES ECB/CWC AWARD

Chris Haynes, the ECB's director of communications, was at Edgbaston to help CWC chairman Mark Baldwin hand out the ECB's top award for county cricket coverage in regional newspapers in 2016 to the Sunday Independent, the paper which covers Somerset, Gloucestershire and much other West Country cricket.

CWC member Richard Latham, who writes for the paper, received a cheque for £1,500 on behalf of the Sunday Independent during the CWC's AGM. Another CWC member, Matt Davies, received a £500 cheque on behalf of his paper, The Nottingham Post, which was highly commended in the same category alongside the Manchester Evening News.

Baldwin said: "The Cricket Writers' Club has chosen to support this award financially, initially both for 2016 and 2017, because we recognise how important coverage in regional newspapers is for the health of county cricket but are also aware of the cost-cutting problems being endured in this sector of the media. In a small way, perhaps, we are trying to do our bit to buck a current trend." All the award monies are to be spent specifically on county cricket coverage by staff reporters or regular freelance contributors.

MARK NICHOLAS WINS THE CRICKET SOCIETY AND MCC BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2017

Many congratulations to Mark Nicholas, a long-standing CWC member, for winning this year's Cricket Society/MCC book of the year award with 'A Beautiful Game: My Love Affair with Cricket' (Allen & Unwin).

He received his award in the Long Room at Lord's, at a dinner organised by MCC and at which the Cricket Writers' Club was again asked to co-host.

The other books on the short list were: 'Absolutely Foxed' by Graeme Fowler, 'The Good Murungu' by Alan Butcher, 'Stroke of Genius' by Gideon Haigh, 'White on Green' by Richard Heller and Peter Oborne, and 'Following On' by Emma John.

There were quite a number of CWC members in the room, including other authors on the short list, and my thanks are particularly due to those who joined me in co-hosting the event: Simon Wilde, Andrew Miller, Geoffrey Dean, Dan Norcross, Andrew McGlashan and Graham Morris.

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman

20th April, 2017

WENDY STEPS DOWN

As you will have no doubt seen from your recent CWC-related post (which included the AGM Agenda papers), Wendy Wimbush has decided to stand down from her position of Treasurer - a post which she has held for 31 years. Indeed, as she was appointed in 1986, the year in which I was invited to join CWC, I for one have never known a Cricket Writers' Club without Wendy at the helm! (And I am far from the only one in that)

In her message to Club Members, Wendy rightly sets out her reasons for wanting to spend a little more of her time in other pursuits, especially at her Church Hall in Whitstable. I am sure all CWC Members will join me in wishing her all the very best with those additional responsibilities - typically, Wendy is very much up for that new challenge!

I am also sure that everyone will agree with me that the Cricket Writers' Club will never see a greater servant than Wendy. In fact, it is absolutely no exaggeration to say that the Club would not have survived in such a healthy state over these past three decades but for Wendy's dedication to the cause - and especially her long-standing partnership with Derek Hodgson, our Secretary from 1986 until 2004. It was in that Wimbush-Hodgson era that the Club grew substantially, both in numbers and influence. Wendy, we will never be able to thank you enough for all you have done.

What Wendy did not say in her message, however, was that her role as Treasurer and, for so long, as Assistant Secretary, was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of everything she did for the Club; the list of jobs is too long to number here but most Members will know exactly what I am saying. The current re-organisation, and enlargement, of the Club's secretarial administration has been done precisely because of the need to replace the depth and breadth of Wendy's portfolio, which included much regular secretarial work as well as the Treasurer's job and her considerable help every year in the organising of the Annual Lunch.

As for the immediate future, I am delighted that Wendy has agreed to stay on as an officer of the Club, as Assistant Treasurer, while Marcus Hook gets his feet under the table as Wendy's successor as Treasurer. Marcus's appointment will be ratified officially at the AGM, and we welcome him to the post.

I am also pleased that Wendy will be around to assist in some of the organisation of this year's Annual Lunch, but as she will be standing down from the Dinner/Lunch sub-Committee later in the year I have already asked Shilpa Patel if she would be willing to join the sub-Committee in Wendy's place and, I am very pleased to say, Shilpa will now be on hand to help out this summer.

Wendy, we're not going to let you disappear totally from the life of CWC, but we understand your reasons for standing down as Treasurer - let alone everything else you do - and once again we thank you for a brilliant 31 years spent at the heart of this Club.

Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman

18th March 2017

ROY WILKINSON
By David Warner

Roy Wilkinson, a full senior member of The Cricket Writers' Club, died on March 1, 2017, aged 86. For over 40 years, Roy was Yorkshire County Cricket Club's statistician and a long serving member of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation's Archives Committee.

An MCC member and a vice president of Yorkshire CCC, he became joint editor of the Yorkshire Yearbook with Club secretary, Joe Lister, in 1975, and it was Roy who first introduced editorial content to what had previously been a book solely of records and statistics.

It was generally recognised that he was an authority on Yorkshire cricket and few people knew more about the history of the Club than he did. His own meticulous statistics and files on Yorkshire players past and present were beyond compare and he owned a magnificent collection of cricket books.

In 1996, Roy had published an invaluable book, Yorkshire County Cricket Club First-Class Records. It was a comprehensive account of all player and team statistics going back to the Club's formation in 1863 and it became an essential work of reference for all Yorkshire cricket journalists.

He was followed as Yearbook editor by former CWC President, Derek Hodgson, who, in a warm tribute to his predecessor and close friend, said: "Roy Wilkinson was a man whose dexterity with figures and records left one in awe. He was the first to invite me to contribute to that august journal, tolerating my often whimsical accounts of the Scarborough Festival.

"When he resigned after a tiff over content, he eagerly supported my name as the new editor, thus starting an 18-year partnership that turned the Yearbook from a collection of records to an annual account of Yorkshire's cricketing life and a perpetual search into the lives and the mores of the great men who had made the Club.

"We had the odd disagreement but as we were both traditionalists with a reverence for the county's deep history we were always aiming in the same direction. Such was his command of every team's and every player's times that his expertise was rarely if ever challenged. 

"He was a member of MCC for more than 40 years and treasured his annual visits to Lord's almost as much as his vice-president's chair at Headingley. To we Yearbook colleagues he was the Sage of Addingham and we shall miss him."

LORD’S MEDIA CENTRE UPDATE

MCC kindly invited a small delegation from the media and ECB to inspect the on-going second phase of the refurbishment of the JP Morgan Media Centre at Lord’s in February. All the work is on course to be completed for the start of the new season in April, and what will be a busy summer indeed at HQ.

Mark Baldwin and Graham Morris donned hard hats and hi-vis jackets to represent CWC at the site visit, and can report that cricket’s media will certainly notice the extra space – on both levels of the Media Centre – made available by the further works carried out this winter.

On the writers’ level an additional 24 seats are now in place, bringing the total capacity of the writing desks to 144. Two good-sized radio/TV boxes have been created at either end of this level – replacing the bigger corporate boxes – which also enhances the space dedicated to electronic media. There will be no corporate access to the box now, of course. Improved disabled access to this floor includes four wheelchair positions set in the writers’ desks area. 

Access to the four rows of writing desks is now via two runs of down steps, which are positioned off to the right and off to the left as you enter from the lounge and bar area, and these replace the three runs of steps (middle and ends) of before. Thus, the banks of writing desks are now split into three sections.

Upstairs, the infill of the previous temporary staircases at each end of the box has created a significant amount of extra floor space, which is important for the photographers who have their 30 ‘hot desks’ situated along the inner wall and overlooking the lounge (up from 17 last year). All the photographers’ lockers are also now accessible – a good number last year were above the temporary stairwells and therefore not useable. All the radio and TV boxes on this level (enlarged as part of ‘Phase One’ last winter) are fully soundproofed.

New stairwells have now been built at both ends of the box, leading upwards from alongside the two additional radio/TV boxes on the writers’ level.

More tables and chairs are to be provided in the lounge area this year, thus creating more seating capacity for those eating or drinking, and the bar area remains in its new place in the far corner (former photographers’ room).

As an additional piece of news, MCC have confirmed to CWC that no guided tours for the public will be allowed to enter the Media Centre during hours of play in ALL county matches held at Lord’s this summer. This follows representation by CWC on this matter, and we are grateful to MCC for listening to our concerns.

Overall, MCC are confident that the completion of Phase Two of the refurbishment (and, indeed, of the whole refurbishment operation) will significantly enhance the world-class nature of the media facilities at Lord’s. As ever, MCC staff will be happy to receive any feedback from CWC members in the early weeks of the season. Please speak to Neil Priscott in the first instance – even if only to comment on the completed works in general!
​​
CWC ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LORD’S TAVERNERS

I am delighted to announce the start of a new Cricket Writers’ Club partnership with The Lord’s Taverners, who will need no introduction to you all. This is excellent news with which to help to kick off 2017, and I am confident that this formal relationship - initially on a three-year deal - will not just be beneficial to our Club but will also prove to be of great value to the Taverners’ ongoing work with disabled and disadvantaged children.
 
Included in the sponsorship amount is a fund which will be made available to provide payment for those CWC Members who help with editorial support for the Taverners in their respective regions. More detail on this initiative will follow in due course, when I will be approaching various Members for the chance to get involved.
 
Lord’s Taverners President Sir Michael Parkinson, and CWC Member, said: “I am delighted that The Lord’s Taverners has partnered with The Cricket Writers’ Club for the next three years. The partnership will focus on bringing cricket writers closer to the Lord’s Taverners, better understanding its charitable programmes regionally and nationally. As a long-standing member of both organisations, I am excited they will be working closer together with the single-minded aim to give disadvantaged and disabled youngsters a sporting chance.”
 
Taverners’ events that will form the focus of the editorial support CWC will offer in 2017 are:
 
(i) Table Cricket National Finals (June)
(ii) Wicketz Inner-City Cricket programme (July-August)
(iii) Sporting Chance Awards (March/April and October/November)
 
In addition, the Taverners will be co-hosting special events during the summer, to which certain CWC Members will be invited, and they will also be taking a table at our own CWC Annual Lunch, which will be held on Tuesday October 3 this year.
 
In conclusion I would like, officially, to welcome The Lord’s Taverners as new CWC partners, and thank Mike Hartwell, their head of marketing and communications, for his help in getting this new relationship off the ground. Obviously, I hope the partnership endures for many years to come, and for mutual benefit.
 
Mark Baldwin, CWC Chairman
20th January, 2017​

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - EDGBASTON
Tuesday, 25th April 2017

Will all Members please note that the 2017 AGM will be held in the Media Centre, at Edgbaston, on Tuesday April 25, from 2pm. The meeting will be preceded by tea and coffee availability from 1pm, and by a light lunch buffet from 1.30pm. There will also be a short drinks reception after the meeting has concluded.

The CWC committee took the decision last year that the AGM would be held on an experimental three-year rota from 2017 - also taking in Trent Bridge in 2018 and back to Lord's in 2019 - on the basis that more regionally-based Members would be able to attend over this three-year period than has traditionally been the case when it has always been held in London.

I am therefore hoping for a good turn out and, as indicated above, I am also looking for the AGM day to become something of an early-season social gathering, which CWC will help to fund in terms of refreshments and some drinks.

An AGM agenda will be sent out, as ever, in advance of the meeting and nearer the time but - for now - please put this date in your diaries and, especially if you are based in the Midlands and West, please do everything you can to attend and support the Club.

Regards, Mark Baldwin



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

For more details email
Gemma Wright, CWC Membership Secretary.

Derek Hodgson
Click on the picture above to go to Derek's obituary

Mark Nicholas

A Beautiful Game: My Love Affair With Cricket

MCC / Cricket Society
​Book Of The Year 2017

CWC BOOK OF THE YEAR - NOMINEES

It is a pleasure to announce the short list of six for the CWC Book of the Year 2017. From an original collection of nearly 40, the books chosen by the judging panel are:

A Beautiful Game by Mark Nicholas (Allen & Unwin)
Front Foot! The Law That Changed Cricket by Doug Ackerly (National Library of Australia)
Over And Out by Steve Neal (Pitch)
Remarkable Cricket Grounds by Brian Levison (Pavilion)
Stroke Of Genius by Gideon Haigh (Simon & Schuster)
Unguarded by Jonathan Trott (Sphere)

The award will be announced on October 3 at the CWC's Annual Lunch (details of which can be found on the
Home page). This is the 11th year of the award and thus, with a full team of books, it is also hoped to select a winner of winners.

Wendy Wimbush

Roy Wilkinson
Click on the picture above to go to Roy's obituary

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