Wendy Wimbush

Ted Corbett

William Hill Cricket Evening
6 June 2017

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

Mark Nicholas
A Beautiful Game: My Love Affair With Cricket
MCC / Cricket Society
​Book Of The Year 2017


County champions Essex won even more silverware - both Cricket Writers' Club Player of the Year awards.

Batsman Dan Lawrence, 20, won the prestigious CWC Young Player of the Year award and Jamie Porter is the CWC's County Championship Player of the Year.

First presented in 1950, and one of the oldest such honours in cricket, the Young Player award, which by tradition is won just once in a career, is restricted to England-qualified players under the age of 23 on April 1. 

Lawrence, 20, made 761 Championship runs at 44.76, including three centuries.

The first Essex player to win the award since Ravi Bopara in 2008, he said: "What a season it has been. I am pleased to have played my part in this wonderful triumph.

"As a young player it is great to learn from the likes of Alastair Cook and to have him in our side during the season has been a huge boost.

"There is no reason why we cannot progress from here and be a force again in future years. The coaching staff have been incredible with their support and motivation for the side.

"I am thrilled to have won the award to cap off a season to remember."

Porter is the sixth winner of the CWC County Championship Player of the Year award, which is presented in association with William Hill.

The 24 year-old was the Championship's leading bowler, with 75 wickets in 13 matches at just 16.82 apiece.

"I am really pleased to have been chosen for the award by the cricket writers after a remarkable season," he said.

"It may shock some people but at the start of the campaign a number of lads in the dressing room said we can win this and to our credit we have played some great cricket.

"I have huge respect for Chris Silverwood, who has done a remarkable job as coach.

"I am obviously pleased with my season and the wickets I have taken. I have been able to learn from bowlers like David Masters, who has now retired. We now have a fine crop of young players and the future is bright."

Rupert Adams, media relations manager for William Hill, said: "Jamie's impressive feats have been one of the highlights of an exceptional season for Essex.

"His fine bowling was undoubtedly a key factor in Essex securing the title. He is, therefore, a very deserving recipient of the County Championship Player of the Year Award.

"William Hill is delighted once again to partner with the Cricket Writers' Club in presenting this award. It is the sixth year we have done so and the list of winners underlines the award's growing stature."

Three other CWC awards were presented at the club's annual lunch at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, as well as the inaugural Lord's Taverners Disability Award, which was won by England Learning Disabilities captain Chris Edwards.

Tammy Beaumont was presented with the CWC Women's Cricket Award by Clare Connor, the director of England Women's Cricket.

She succeeds the award's inaugural winner, Charlotte Edwards, after helping England win the Women's World Cup for the first time as its Player of the Tournament and leading scorer.

Her 410 runs included 148 in her record 275-run partnership with Nat Sciver against South Africa.

"It's been a crazy year, that day at Lord's will stand in all our memories for a long time and it's great to see everything that has come out of that," she said.

The CWC Peter Smith Award, made "for services to the presentation of cricket to the public", was presented to David Graveney by David Gower, its inaugural winner in 1992.

A former captain of Gloucestershire  and Durham, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association and chairman of the England Test selectors from 1997-2008, Graveney is currently president of the PCA's Benevolent Fund.

"What I do now is probably the most rewarding [of my roles in cricket], being able to help a lot of cricketers who haven't had the best of lives in terms of post-playing," he said.

The CWC Derek Hodgson Book Award winner is Steve Neal for Over and Out: Albert Trott: The Man Who Cleared the Lord's Pavilion. 

"It says a lot about openness and fairness that a complete outsider with no record of writing about cricket before can win this award," he said.

"A big thanks to Pitch Publishing for taking a punt on the book."

RALPH DELLOR 1948-2017

"We commentators avoid clichés like the plague!" One of the earliest quips I heard from Ralph, which helped me to like him and get to know him better. He has been an integral part of my life for the past 17 years. We were both approached in 2000 by CricInfo, then a fledgling Internet company inflated by the dotcom bubble. At the outset our respective roles were so unclear that neither of us was certain who was boss. Although Ralph's seniority was eventually confirmed, he was never - as all who knew him would attest - particularly boss-like. I had met him fleetingly in the early 1980s, while he was doing work for BFBS and I was making a tentative foray towards a broadcasting career. His name was already well-known to me, primarily on account of my interest in cricket, and his presentation of the Sunday League on BBC2, but also through his contributions to Grandstand, Test Match Special and Match Of The Day. His knowledge of sport was broadly ranged, but cricket was always the jewel in the crown. In addition to broadcasting - his voice and style were amongst the very best in the business - he wrote for the Telegraph, authored, ghosted and with me co-authored several books, and coached, amongst others, the Norwegian national team.

Our CricInfo careers were largely concurrent, and the company Style Guide includes sage advice on commentary from Ralph that would help to launch anyone in practicing the art. As with many dotcom companies of the time, shoal waters were soon hit and the Wisden takeover in 2003 prompted Ralph to suggest to me, rather to my surprise, that we might form our own company. Sportsline Media Limited's accounts since record work for the BBC, ECB, MCC and others far too numerous to list. Recently and entirely appropriately, Ralph was the "Voice of Lord's" on the public address at cricket's home. He commentated on several matches in this summer's Women's World Cup, and members may well have seen pictures of him at the toss in a couple of games. Of course they show a seasoned media performer, but his essential good character outshines all else.

Never was that more apparent than in his stage show, successively entitled "Sticky Wicket", "Rain Stops Play" and "In the Box", performed at theatres the length and breadth of the country. In the good company of former England players, Ralph would expertly chair a discourse on the game and its current ups, downs and eccentricities, teasing out anecdotes which his guests somehow managed to make seem original, even if they'd been trotted out many times before. Ask Aggers about John the Baptist! I attended several of these gigs, and found Ralph in his element. Valiant enough to tread the boards, scrupulously well-informed about current cricket affairs, and always alert to humorous potential, he performed quite brilliantly. I invariably sensed the audience's appreciation, periodically manifest in the form of cakes!

Ralph was a fine bowler, to whom I am proud to have kept wicket in one game. His medium pace was waspish, and heaven only knows how many deliveries he sent down, for Essex teams in the county of his birth, to England players on overseas tours, or in many games for The Cricket Writers' Club. A recent letter of engagement gives a flavour: "I remember your nibbly medium pacers causing havoc in CWC matches. Are you still trundling in?" Ralph's reply: "Let me pick you up on one point, vis the reference to my 'nibbly medium pacers'. I think you are mixing me up with someone else, because I bowled with naked pace that terrified the batsmen. No, now I come to think of it you're right ...the only batsmen terrified were at the non-striker's end. Terrified that they might not get the chance to cash in on the buffet at the other! Unfortunately I have had a succession of knee and back problems that have resulted in being out of action for a year or so - the result of bowling 20,000 overs too many!"

Ralph's passing was way, way too soon. Although he had been told that his prostate cancer was incurable, he was positive in his approach to the treatment required to give him as much time as possible. The sepsis that he contracted in the early stages of chemotherapy was unspeakably cruel, and shockingly curtailed his life. For me, professionally, it seems like the amputation of a limb. But I can still treasure the unexpected quips, not all of which I latched on to quickly enough. One of my own before signing off. We never had a crossword, cryptic or otherwise.

Grief, over the ages, can be measured by affection. I have not felt such sadness since my dear father died, and there are reasons. My relationship with Ralph developed, from distant admiration, to professional esteem, to joyous communication when I had the chance to commentate with him, to an entirely fulfilling business partnership. Over the past 14 years, we have spoken pretty well every working day. We clicked. Ralph gave me the best of my professional life, and I was extraordinarily fortunate to know him. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family.
TED CORBETT 1935-2017

Ted Corbett was a resourceful and highly skilled journalist. The merest whiff of a story quickened his step and he could write lucidly in any style whether for tabloid, 'quality' or magazine. He had a light, almost elegant way of keying, his fingertips hovering over the board as he leaned back slightly to appraise what he had just written.

Ted worked for several national newspapers in the UK while his reports for The Hindu and Sportstar made him one of the most respected and widely read cricket writers in India. Writing a considered piece for an Indian audience required subtlety and a knowledge of how the English language was used on the sub-continent. Ted constructed his material with great care.

He was passionate about journalism, sport - cricket particularly of course - and life in general. In 2016 doctors told him he had little time left but he turned up at the Cricket Writers Club 70th anniversary lunch, wheeled in by Jo, and gave me his usual greeting: "So, what do you know?" - the traditional Corbett prelude to a round of gossipy stories and anecdotes, often conducted on the back row of the Lord's Media Centre or maybe over dinner in an Italian or Thai restaurant on Finchley Road, bottles of good beer or wine at hand. On this last bitter-sweet occasion in the Merchant Taylors' Hall, he was as phlegmatic and as good humoured as ever, joking about life expectancy and sell-by dates etc.

A loyal and long-serving member of the CWC he earned a warm round of applause at a well-attended AGM in 2004 when, as the outgoing chairman, I suggested the Club might have to become more political. There was a moment's stone-cold silence. I realised immediately I was on very thin ice. Ted rose to his feet. Aha, I thought, Corbett will rescue me. But to increasingly loud murmurs of 'Hear, hear' and 'That's telling him' Ted proceeded to dismantle my proposition, reminding us all of the Cricket Writers Club foundations and its raison d'etre. Unrehearsed, articulate, spirited but never aggressive, it was a superb little speech and one which I appreciated as much as anyone else. When he had finished and the handclapping had subsided, Christopher Martin-Jenkins stood up to congratulate him. "I could not have worded it better," said CMJ and you could not wish for higher praise.

Ted, who was 82, worked for the Daily Herald, the Sun and the Daily Mirror before becoming cricket correspondent for the Daily Star. After leaving the Star in 1989, Ted, in conjunction with his partner Jo King, set-up a sports agency, Cricket Direct and continued to write a column for The Hindu and Sportstar into his eighties.

Ted began his career as tea boy at the Yorkshire Evening Press and not only wrote about cricket, but also rugby, football, athletics, golf and snooker. He also took many an aspiring sports journalist under his wing, opening doors and giving them encouragement.

After his retirement, last year, Ted told the SJA website: "Now it is time to slip on the fireside slippers and watch the cricket on the telly. I followed England for 300 Tests and 500 one-day internationals and, like Fred Trueman, I am bloody tired after all the effort."

More obituaries can be found on the Hindu, Rediff and SJA websites.


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. 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.


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.


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


...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).


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, 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.'


"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."


Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017 at 12:00 for 13:15
Jumeirah Carlton Tower
Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9PY

Media table of 10 = £895.00
Individual Member = £65.00
First guest (ie non-Member) = £65.00
Subsequent guests = £75.00
Teetotal ticket = £50.00

Please note that for this year you should send the order form to Shipla Patel at 8 Frinton Court, Hardwick Green, Ealing, London W13 8DW or email

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.

Starter: Four styles of crab.
Main course: Slow-cooked belly pork with spinach, carrot puree and tortellini of wild boar, apple and cider jus.
Dessert: Banana souffle and rum/raisin ice cream.
Fish main course alternative: South coast monkfish braised in lemon grass, coconut milk and coriander, with bok choy and sweet potato.
Vegetarian meal: Goat’s cheesecake, wild mushroom and celeriac wellington, followed by fruit salad.


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


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.


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


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

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."


Ralph Dellor

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

CWC AGM - Edgbaston

​25 April 2017

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).