A Founder Member Writes....

 

When I wrote the archive piece on the first matches I included a thank you to all the founder members and asked any of them reading the site to get in touch, little dreaming that any might actually do so. The power of the web, and the Google Search Engine, was demonstrated a few short months after I wrote those words when Peter Blunden, who played in both those first two matches entered his name in his new search engine and came up with our site. His name duly appeared on our Guest Book to our great delight.

Peter's recollections of his NAGCC days are a little hazy, but I include below the bits that he can recall, as well as some averages from the 1973 season that Rob Newmarch recently came across. You will see that while the players in the first season, with the exception of Mr. Ellard, rapidly faded from the scene, the second season included a few more recognisable names for those of us who have been playing for a while, including one which should be familiar to us all, a certain Mr. S. Bawdekar!

Anyway, here is Peter's bit in his first e-mail to me (and to Rob, from whom he received an e-mail while half way through replying to me!:

 

How are things at NAG this fine Spring morning, although it's now 9:30 pm as I finish this email and that makes it 12:30 pm in the UK. ?

I'm actually Australian by birth, although I spent seven years in England - 1967 to 1973 - working as an architect.

I guess I must be a bit of a rarity inasmuch as I'm now sixty, work in computing, and spend many hours on the Net for business reasons, but at least I found NAGCC !

I had actually just installed the search engine Google into my default browser window, was idly testing it, and did a search for 'Peter Blunden'.

I practically fell off my chair when I found your archive material !

I well remember that inaugural match against Ash, as its the first time I'd participated in picking up the cow pats off the ground before we could start play, although I have no recollection of making any runs.

The only clear recollection of a match was against a club in South London. It may have been the second game the club played as I remember it as the first 'away' game - beautiful ground, ten of the eleven players were West Indian by birth, all looked, and practised in the nets, like Gary Sobers or Viv Richards, and were dressed up to the cricketers nines - immaculate creams, club pullovers, club caps, the total picture - absolutely overwhelming.

I opened the bowling, got hit for three off the first ball, then I found that the pitch was seaming like I'd never experienced before, and certainly not outside the UK, before or since, and I finished up with 8 for about 17, including my one and only career hat-trick, and they were 9fer.

But I was Australian of course.

I greeted the last ball (first of a new over) of my hat-trick (bowled) with a very excited (and , in retrospect, I recognise as outrageous) appeal, even though all three stumps were spreadeagled - poor show I understand - and it was witnessed in total, extended, silence from my team-mates - I'm surprised in the circumstances that my name has not been expunged from all NAGCC records as a consequence :-)

I was taken off next over (apparently to make a game of it !), the last pair went on to take the score past 150, and we lost the match.

I was really pissed off, but got over it, and loved every moment of every match I played with NAG thereafter.

You see, us dreadful Australians just love the sport of it, and believe that the object of the game is to win, but I have no truck with the dreadful behaviour of some members of the current Australian team with their appalling sledging, and what can you say about Shane Warne - great cricketer - real prick ..........

........ as I write, I've also received an email response from Rob Newmarch, so I'll add you, Rob, to the addressees.

Hi Rob.

........ I'm staggered as to where the club has gone - 8 teams and a square with 15 pitches !!

We didn't really have a home ground that first year, at least not that we could invite a visiting club to play at. We played all our matches away, as I recall.

We used to play what our then captain called 'friendlies', apparently arranged through the Kent Cricket Conference. This was a totally new concept for an Australian as all my previous cricket, from the age of about twelve, was played in highly competitive formal competitions - you know the sort of thing - the top four clubs at the end of the season play semi-finals and a final to see who holds the 'premiership' for the next season.

As a kid, in the club I played for, you would start off in the fifth eleven, and via promotion within the club, you could progress to the first eleven from which you could be selected directly to play for Victoria (my State) and that as there were only seven states from which the Australian Test team is selected.

I never got remotely near those lofty heights, but I guess that's where we learned to play ;'tough' but seemingly these days, not always what I would consider 'fair' cricket.

I really can't remember any of the names that you have mentioned, but they are all vaguely familiar. I remember our captain worked for Reuters, and there was a very elegant Indian batsman who was the best strokemaker (Editor's note - there were several other Indian batsmen in the club, so this was probably NOT Sharad!)in the club, but was unlucky enough never to make a bundle of runs.

Ah well, its 9:50 p.m now. (and haven't I rambled) and I've a long day tomorrow, but thank you both for responding so quickly, warmly and informatively. I really do appreciate it and will certainly follow the fortunes of the club with great interest.

You said you have two colts teams. If I can visit one day, is there an old duffers team that might offer me a guest place, say at number eleven, which was always my natural batting slot anyway ?

Regards, and much affection for those who carry on the tradition.

Peter Blunden

 

And here are those 1973 averages....

New Ash Green Cricket Club

Averages to 15th July 1973

 

..................................................................Batting ………………………………Bowling ……………………

 

Played

Inns.

N.O.

Runs

Ave.

Overs

Wkts

Runs

Ave.

                   

Adams

6

6

3

3

1.0

27.3

5

68

13.6

Blunden

6

6

0

28

4.7

48.1

17

140

8.3

Hall

6

6

0

81

13.5

       

Smith

6

6

0

42

7.0

6

2

39

19.0

Baklavia?

5

5

1

21

5.2

12

4

47

11.8

Birkett

5

5

0

57

11.4

       

Bawdekar

5

5

1

41

10.0

26.3

9

120

13.3

Ellard

5

5

1

35

8.8

6

1

34

34.0

Phillips I.

5

5

0

88

17.6

25.4

2

116

58.0

Avery

4

4

0

33

8.3

       

Ledger

4

4

2

8

4.0

2

0

12

 

Baldwin

3

3

0

6

2.0

4

1

25

25.0

Barnes

3

3

0

1

0.3

4

0

30

 

Essaye

3

3

0

27

9.0

9

1

43

43.0

Lee

3

3

0

29

9.7

9

2

44

22.0

Davis

2

2

0

8

4.0

2

0

7

 

Harbinson

2

2

0

15

7.5

13

3

54

18.0

Hilton-Jones

2

2

0

24

12.0

       

Heeneniya

2

2

0

19

9.5

1

0

14

 

Littlejohn

2

2

0

3

1.5

       

Warren

2

2

0

0

0.0

2.1

1

9

9.0

Desai

1

1

0

1

1.0

       

Dickens

1

1

1

0

         

Phillips N.

1

1

0

3

3.0

       

Whymark

1

1

0

2

2.0

       

 

The hand-written document does not make it clear whether these statistics are just for the 1973 season, or whether they cover all the matches played up to 15th July 1973.

 

 

Back to Archives