WINTER PROGRAMME IS IN FULL SWING
The Worcestershire Cricket Society winter programme is now in full swing after kicking off in different surroundings with Mark Hardinges as the guest speaker.
Mark spoke to Society members in the 1865 Lounge as the Graeme Hick Pavilion was unavailable on the particular evening.
He talked in depth about his spell with Gloucestershire when they were the one-day kings of cricket during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Mark is now Master in Charge of Cricket at Malvern College who have close links with Worcestershire CCC and the College remains their winter base for net practice in the New Year.
He is predicting a bright future for former Malvern College pupil Tom Kohler-Cadmore who secured the first cricket scholarship at the college and is currently performing with distinction for Penrith Panthers in Australia.
You will recall that Tom – and Tom Fell – were guest speakers of the Cricket Society last winter.
Mark said: "Tom has got heaps of talent and hopefully that first hundred (against Middlesex) will open the floodgates for many more and kick him on to bigger and better things in the years to come.
"He practices like hell, has a great work ethic and the way he is with kids and members off the field, he is always willing to give his time. There is not an arrogant bone in his body."
Mark also worked at Malvern College with spinner Ben Twohig who is just beginning his first professional contract at New Road.
After the appearance this evening (Tuesday) of former Worcestershire paceman John Inchmore, the programme will continue on December 8 with England's Ashes hero of 1975, David Steele, planned as the guest speaker.
David was brought into the team by the then England captain Tony Greig to face the fearsome pace of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson that summer after they had terrorised England the previous winter.
He responded with scores of 50, 45, 73, 92, 39 and 66 and was voted BBC Sports Personality Of The Year and one of Wisden's Cricketers Of The Year.
The traditional mince pies and mulled wine will be available to be enjoyed at this meeting.
After the festive programme, current Worcestershire left armer Jack Shantry will be the speaker on January 12.
Jack picked up 50 plus wickets in the LV = County Championship for the second successive season in 2015 and won the Dick Lygon award at Worcestershire's Gala Evening-Awards Night (more on that later).
He has gone down in County folklore for his century and 10 wickets in the promotion clinching win over Surrey in 2014 at New Road.
On February 9 cricket writer, historian and statistician Peter Wynne-Thomas will entertain the Society.
Peter has been the librarian and archivist at Trent Bridge for Nottinghamshire CCC for many years.
The programme will conclude on March 8 with Worcestershire Heritage Group Chairman and current Worcestershire Board member Tim Jones.
Tim will be reflecting on his new book about the life and career of former Worcestershire captain and the County's record run-scorer in first class cricket, Don Kenyon entitled 'Don Kenyon – His Own Man.'
Cricket Society membership fees have unaltered for 2015-2016 – £15 or £20 for a double membership. Non members are always welcome to attend at a charge of £3 per evening.
SOCIETY CHAMPAGNE MOMENT AWARD
Worcestershire Cricket Society awarded their 'champagne moment of the season' award to all-rounder Joe Leach at the Gala Evening-Awards Night held in a large Marquee on the New Road outfield in early October.
Leach registered a sensational hat-trick with the first three balls of the game against Northamptonshire at New Road in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
He dismissed Richard Levi and Rob Keogh – both caught behind – and then had Ben Duckett caught at gulley.
After that trio of ducks it was then a case of a low flying swan stopping play!
Leach became the first player in this country – and only the second ever – to take three wickets with the first three balls of a match.
The other was ex Worcestershire player Chaminda Vaas.
It was a memorable night for Leach who was also voted the Players' Player Of The Year by his team-mates after taking 59 wickets and scoring nearly 500 runs in the LV = County Championship.
PLANS FOR SOCIETY TRIP TO OLD TRAFFORD IN APRIL
The Cricket Society have announced plans to run a two-day trip to Manchester next April incorporating a tour of the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground.
Details will be finalised once the county fixtures for 2016 are released towards the end of November.
But the excursion will include an overnight hotel stay and visiting a local attraction on day one before taking in the tour of Old Trafford the following day.
The trip has been organised by new Cricket Society committee member Mike Hitchings.
More details will be announced in the near future but anyone interested should make their interest known to the Society at this evening's meeting so an early indication of numbers can be obtained.