SHANTRY PROVES POPULAR WITH SOCIETY MEMBERS

Extra seats had to be drafted in for the evening's entertainment provided by Jack Shantry at the January meeting of the Cricket Society in the 1865 Lounge.

Despite the shocking weather and the main car park being flooded, more than 80 people attended to hear the annecdotes of the County's popular paceman.

Not surprisingly one of the events Jack talked about was the game at New Road which will always be known as 'Shantry's Match' – the promotion clinching win over Surrey at New Road in September 2014.

Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes compared Jack's performance as Ian Bothamesque after his century and 10 wickets helped rescue a lost looking cause.

Jack doubted whether he would ever be able to repeat a performance like that – the first time that anyone batting at number nine or lower has taken 10 wickets and scored a hundred in first class cricket.

He recalled that, as the match progressed, the mood of the crowd began to change significantly from accepting what appeared to be an inevitable defeat to 'we might have a chance here' and by the end to the match of his career.

Jack started by saying his love for cricket started with his father Brian, who played for Gloucestershire, being a good player – as was his brother Adam – so he was brought up around cricket.

He recalled playing cricket with the Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart and remembers how Joe was one of these annoying people who was good at everything he did!

Jack said Joe, who was part of the Worcestershire Academy, had to make a decision on whether to take up a cricket or football career – and it took him about 30 seconds to decide on football.

He recalled being coached by current second eleven and batting coach Kevin Sharp when he was between aged 11 – 13 and that by 16 he was playing for Shrewsbury and then at 17 for Shropshire in Minor Counties cricket.

By 2008 Jack combined playing some second team games for Worcestershire with studying at Manchester University and remembered taking 7 – 20 against Leicestershire Seconds.

Jack was given a summer contract the following year with the county, made his debut against Essex and early in the match took the wicket of Ravi Bopara.

At the end of 2009, Jack was given a two year contract by the county.

Jack said that in the early part of his career he was regared as a batsman who bowled a bit and opened for Shropshire in the Minor Counties but, as time went on, his bowling took over.

When asked if he thought he might have a chance of being Darryl Mitchell's opening partner, to much laughter from the audience, Jack said he thought this was very unlikely!

When asked if anyone had ever tried to change his unusal bowling action, Jack said a coach did attempt to when he was quite young but gave up after a short time.

Jack said he was still hoping to be regarded as an all rounder but realised he had to improve his batting.

He said he picked up the nickname 'Angry Jack' after an incident when Chris Russell ran him out after Jack had called for what he thought was an easy single but, after getting half way down the wicket, realised that Chris had not moved.

He remembers several friends told him they could hear his angry verbal volley to Chris from the seating area!

Jack's favourite ground after New Road is Lords, and he thinks the County have a team good enough to get promoted next season and hopefully reach T20 finals day.

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DATE AND SPEAKER FINALISED FOR SOCIETY ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual General Meeting of the Worcestershire Cricket Society will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at New Road (venue to be finalised) starting at 7.30.

We are pleased to announce that John Elliott has agreed to be the guest speaker at the AGM.

John has served with distinction at New Road in a liason stretching back to when he was a member of the playing staff in the late 1950s up until the mid 1960s.

He also had two terms as club chairman and most recently had a spell as club president before he was succeeded 12 months ago by Lord Mervyn King of Lothbury.

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TWO DAY TRIP TO MANCHESTER RECEIVES SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT

The two-day trip to Manchester, organised so efficiently and dilligently by Cricket Society committee member Mike Hitchings, is proving popular with WCS members.

The April 5-6 excursion includes an overnight stay at the Mercure Hotel in Wigan with the highlight being a tour of Old Trafford Cricket Ground on day two.

A 53 seater coach has been hired for the trip and already 38 people have paid their £20 deposits for a trip which only costs £80 in total.

The remaining balance of £60 should be paid at the latest by the Cricket Society's March 8 meeting.

If you cannot attend, cheques should be made out to 'Worcestershire Cricket Society' and sent to Mike Hitchings at 34 Derwent Drive, Mitton, Tewkesbury, Glos. GL20 8BB.

If you have any queries, please contact Mike on 07979 464715. A reminder that the trip is open to non WCS members.

The coach will depart from New Road at 9.10am on April 5 and return home at approximately 7pm on April 6.

The Cricket Society have received permission from Worcestershire CCC for cars to be left at New Road for the duration of the trip but they must be parked in the area in front of the nets on the Premier Inn side of the ground.

*Full details of the intinerary for the trip to Manchester can be found in the January newsletter of the Cricket Society.

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COUNCIL OF COUNTY CRICKET SOCIETIES AGM

The annual general meeting of the Council of County Cricket Societys will be held at Edgbaston on Saturday, March 5.

WCS chairman Bill Tansell, secretary Ann Mullen and committee member Mike Hitchings are planning to attend.

Ann and Mike also were in attendance for the half yearly meeting at Derby with the latter providing an in depth report on proceedings.

We will endeavour to bring WCS members details of the AGM in the March newsletter.

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DARYL MITCHELL BENEFIT FUNCTIONS

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell has been awarded a deserved benefit year for 2016 and two functions at New Road shortly after the start of the new season may be of interest to Cricket Society members.

A 'Question Of Sport' evening is being held in the Hick Pavilion after the close of play on day two of the opening match with Kent on April 11, starting at 7.30pm.

A Worcestershire team captained by Daryl will take on their Kent counterparts captained by their 2016 beneficiary Darren Stevens.

This will be followed by a fun Sports Quiz that members of the public can participate in compered by Dave Bradley.

The price is £5 per person in advance and £7 on the door. For advance tickets please either call Mark Ashbourne on 07506 747619 or email mitchbenefit2016@gmail.com.

Then on Friday April 15, Worcester Police Cricket Club are hosting a sports persons night at New Road with the two main speakers being Daryl Mitchell and former England and Worcestershire player Vikram Solanki.

The comedian Ian “Sludge” Lees will also be in attendance. Tickets, which include a pie and chips supper are priced at £15 each.

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NEW DON KENYON AUTHOR TIM JONES IS MARCH GUEST SPEAKER

The March 8 meeting of the Cricket Society is eagerly anticipated with the guest speaker being Worcestershire Heritage Group chairman and Worcestershire Board member Tim Jones.

Tim will be discussing his recently published book 'Don Kenyon – His Own Man' with the meeting getting underway in the Hick Pavilion at 7.30pm.

Don remains Worcestershire's record run scorer with 37,002 first class runs and was captain of the 1964 and 1965 County Championship winning sides.

But Tim, who can be found sitting at the New Road End on matchdays, also gives an insight into Don Kenyon the person away from action in the middle.

The book has already received favourable feedback – some of which is published below.

*I have nominated your book for The Cricket Society/MCC Book of the Year. While the competition is tough, the judges do appreciate books abut cricketers like Don Kenyon who gave great service to one county.

*I've now finished the book and must thank you for filling in the details of Don's life off the field as well as on it.

*'Don' was a delightful read – and one of those easy reads where each page draws you readily on and it becomes difficult to put down.

*I knew nothing really about DK but now know pretty much everything. What a lot of information, and what a lot of work to track it all down – well done!!

The book costs £15 and can be purchased at the March 8 meeting.

But it can also be obtained by emailing tim at timajones405@aol.com or by sending £15 plus £2 postage to 8 Edgehill Drive, Perton, Wolverhampton, wv6 7sw.

Non WCS members are welcome attend the March 8 meeting for the usual fee of £3.

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SOCIETY FINALISE 2016-2017 WINTER PROGRAMME

The 2015-2016 WCS programme might still be up and running but secretary Ann Mullen has been working hard on organising next winter's line-up of speakers which have now been completed.

We will endeavour to give more details of the line-up in next month's newsletter but here is a list of the speakers.

October 2016 – former Derbyshe CCC cricketer Tony Borrington

November 2016 – cricket book author Stephen Chalke

December 2016 – The Pyemont Brothers presentation of the history of The Ashes

January 2017 – a Worcestershire CCC player TBC

February 2017 – former Warwickshire cricketer and ex Northants CCC CEO David Smith

March 2017 – national journalist and cricket book author Brian Scovell

Congratulations to Ann for arranging a typically varied and entertaining list of speakers.