Friday, November 28, 2008

Summers in the Sun

Apologies for the dearth of posts in the past couple of weeks. Partly caused by 'blogger's block', and partly due to the fact that I'd regularly have an inspired idea for an article on the walk to the station, but by the time I'd read the paper on the train I'd realise that Mike Selvey had beaten me to it.

As Selvey wasn't a Kent fan in the 70's - in fact he was actually playing the county game during that time rather than watching it, I'm hoping the following will jump-start things here at TRSM -

The format is simple. I listed all sixteen counties besides Kent, and then went down the list and quickly jotted down the first thing that came into my head when thinking about their team in the 70's, particularly from when they were playing Kent.

(Remember these are all knee-jerk responses, so apologies for any factual errors - or sweeping generalisations)

Derbyshire - Rubbish - so no change there. Keeper Bob Taylor promoted 'Pony' Cricket bats, which says it all really. Brought in Eddie Barlow to do a Proctershire (see below) which didn't work.

Essex - Something of a joke until Gooch turned up and they then started winning everything in sight. Ray East was always good for an autograph whilst he was fielding. Had a leg-spinner, which was noteworthy then.

Glamorgan - Otherwise known as 'maximum points' whenever we played them. One decent batsman named Jones, like most of the side, and not much else.

Gloucestershire - Aka - Proctershire. We got a real shoeing in the '77 B&H final when Procter was bowling at about 120mph. They also had two of the best Pakistani batsmen ever, a bowler called 'Brian Brian' (or was it 'Brain Brain') and David Sheppard, who has since made a career of standing on one leg.

Hampshire - Won the championship in 1973. Then added Andy Roberts to that side - and never won another thing. Richards and Greenidge, and Peter Sainsbury who was about seventy.

Lancashire - The loathed, hated, bitter rivals. Azkerban CC. Probably explains why it took me so long to appreciate David Lloyd in the Sky commentary box.

Leicestershire - A mate of mine's claim to fame is that he saw Gower bat in 1976, was told that he was a big England prospect, and told all and sundry that 'he'll never make it'.

Middlesex - We reckoned that they had butlers serving their teas in the Lords pavilion.

Northants - Harmless and their supporters were good fun. Nice smattering of watchable overseas players including Bishen Bedi - we were all then masters at imitating his action, like Monty Panesar is today. (Only Monty still can't bowler the freaking arm-ball....)

Nottinghamshire - We saw Sobers, but didn't see the real Sobers, if you get my meaning.

Somerset - Yokel supporters who made a lot of noise and used to drink very strong apple-juice. Pretty feeble on the pitch and we always beat them - then Richards, Botham and Garner came along...

Surrey - I probably spent more time at The Oval than any other ground during that period - but never managed to form any attachment to Surrey whatsoever. Probably because they were so drab. Overseas star was Geoff Howarth - which says it all really.

Sussex - Apart from when he ripped Kent to shreds in the 1973 Gillette Cup, we idolised John Snow.

Warkwickshire - Whenever Kent played them up to about 1976, you can make an entire international eleven from the twenty-two playing.

Luckhurst, Amiss, Denness, Kanhai, Kalicharran, Asif, Knott, Gibbs, Brown, Willis, Underwood.

And that doesn't include Shepherd, Murray or Woolmer.

Worcestershire - Had an opening bowler called Cedric - cause of much hilarity. Also had another opening bowler called John Inchmore, who looked like a Black Sabbath roadie.

Yorkshire - We were the first generation ever for whom Yorkshire were little more than a laughing stock, well since the generation that won at Bosworth in 1485 anyway.

No comments: