INSIDE THE PAVILION: The weekly column from Glos CCC President John Light
PRESIDENTIAL duties dominated the week as the final ball of the season was bowled at Bristol. At a convivial gathering in the exciting new pavilion I said a temporary farewell to captain Michael Klinger.
Speaking on behalf of the club about ‘Max’ was a privilege. Some overseas players are delightful personalities, some are fine cricketers – Michael is both. For all the right reasons he is properly respected and not just for his Gloucestershire achievements. All are delighted he will be back next year.
There was plenty of opportunity to talk to John Bracewell and look forward to the game at Glamorgan. There are selection problems: James Fuller in South Africa for his grandmother’s funeral, Liam Norwell and Will Gidman are carrying injuries. Craig Miles is exhausted after heroic work during the season.
John hopes to play two spinners with Tom Shrewsbury coming into the side. He chuckled at the prospect of the two left handed bowlers (Taylor and Payne) causing some rough for our spinners to exploit. There may be a surprise selection said John – there is a very promising 16-year-old pace bowler who may be in the squad. Watch this space!
At the end of play on Friday, Lancashire were presented with the Div 2 County Championship trophy. Unbeaten all season they were deserved winners. It was a desire to protect the record that caused them to decline a Gloucestershire offer to set up a last-day challenge. Captain Michael was all for it, but understood Lancashire’s reluctance.
David Collier, the chief executive of the ECB, was at Bristol. He is thrilled at the progress Gloucestershire are making, both in developing the ground and in producing quality young players who are committing their future to the county club. This must be the way forward, he said.
Resident in Chalford when he worked for us in the 1980s, David was interested in the progress of local teams.
Surprised to find Stroud CC in the county league next season, he was shocked to learn of the decline in fortunes of Stroud rugby. While the name of Lechlade chairman Paul Rowley had reached his inner sanctum and he was not surprised to hear of progress there.
David’s biggest success has been in the allocation of Sky TV cash. It has been used to help all levels of the game. What a contrast with soccer where the profligate Premier League sides have too large a share.
There was much talk at Bristol of a new star appearing at the County Ground. To readers of this column he will need no introduction. It was the sage of South Cerney, quiz master Phil James who took his talents to an event in the pavilion. Those who had not encountered him before are still in awe.
Returning from Bristol it was pleasing to see The Royal Oak in Tetbury open again. I remember it being run by Walt Baker and being a skittling stronghold. It is in a new guise now and without doubt Mrs Light and I will soon be visitors.
I did manage one of Forest Green’s away fixtures this week, getting to Welling. It was a 5-2 defeat and the game at high flying Cambridge was also lost, but only by the odd goal.
Two things are worrying me. Sam Russell in goal is having problems with crosses, either punching weakly or dropping the ball. Secondly, the passing game Rovers play is attractive to watch but is it winning enough points? There are two home matches this week and I am hoping for six points.
If this happens, Saturday evening in the Lighthouse will be at least bearable. I have to report Mrs L has become a ‘Strictly’ fan. If Forest Green fail it will be a long sad winter, with some wretched Saturday nights.
There was news this week of the death of a personal cricketing hero – Doug Dickenson of Sheepscombe, who shared the opening attack with the more fiery Frank Mansell.
Doug took 1,077 wickets for the club at an average of 9-11. Always wearing a cap, he bowled quick and straight.
He was part of a Sheepscombe attack that also included Bill Halliday of The Butchers Arms, my father and Fred Hopkins.
Until I played against Coates (Reg and Les Tugwell, ‘Shaver’ and Mick Allen as well as Graham and Tony Frape) this was the best village attack I had come across. Although Chalford, who included Mike Aldridge and Graham ‘The Vicar’ Mayo, pushed them pretty close.
They say distance lends enchantment. It may do but not in the case of Doug Dickenson. The achievements of this gracious man speak for themselves.