The first 50 years of the Professional Cricketers’ Association have been captured on film featuring interviews with some of the most influential figures in the Association’s development.
The film, which has been produced as part of the PCA’s 50thAnniversary celebrations in 2017, tells the story of how the organisation was formed in 1967, despite opposition from the cricketing establishment, and has grown from humble beginnings to become one that provides an extensive network of support for past and present professional cricketers in England and Wales.
The nine chapter film history includes interviews with three of the founding fathers of the PCA, Fred Rumsey, the late Jack Bannister and Harold Goldblatt, about the challenges they faced in the early days of the organisation.
The PCA was the brainchild of Rumsey, the former England, Worcestershire, Somerset and Derbyshire left-arm paceman, who persevered in establishing the Association with the blessing of Somerset’s then Chairman, Bunty Longrigg, despite attempts to strangle the proposed players’ union at birth.
There were fears that Cricketers’ Association, as the PCA was initially called, would become a militant organisation but Bannister and Goldblatt reveal that the Association worked closely with the Test and County Cricket Board on improving conditions for players with additional money from the John Player League, the introduction of an insurance scheme and standard contracts.
The PCA also played an important role in brokering peace with Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in the late 1970s and in experimenting with its own short-form competition, Zone Six City Cricket, before the England and Wales Cricket Board introduced the Twenty20 Cup in 2003.
The establishment of the PCA Benevolent Fund, the creation of PCA Management Ltd which made the organisation more commercial, and formation of the Team England Player Partnership are all chartered in the film series in interviews with former chief executives David Graveney, Richard Bevan and Angus Porter and other senior officers including Jason Ratcliffe, Tim O’Gorman, Martyn Ball Matthew Wheeler and Dougie Brown.
David Leatherdale, Chief Executive of the PCA, said: “Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, the PCA has developed into an Association respected, not just in its native cricket arena, but across all professional sports.
“The foresight of the founding members cannot be underestimated and our present and recent past players owe a great deal of thanks for the platform created in the very early years.
“Next year will give us the opportunity to celebrate the 50 years of work so far while raising much-needed funds from a number of special events in order to support the work carried out by the PCA Benevolent Fund. "