Brocklesby Park Cricket Club

IMPROVEMENTS

The membership at this time was seventeen, who were; J E Robinson, K J van den Bos, B Clayton, M Davey, A Marshall, W Hoyle, G Bishop, P Raby, J Atkinson, R Lyth, R Mumby, H Dale, P Wykes, R Oram, P Lancaster, G Smith, and S D Wicks.

We had improved our playing staff slightly, the batting was better, but we still had in that seventeen at least eight regular bowlers and an imbalance. We were to have it for some time; whereas a Brocklesby captain of today might proclaim, "My kingdom for a bowler."

In the batting Phil Wykes was solid but he needed a runner all the time. Peter Raby was a useful number seven, but we had several number sevens, and some of them were flattered by it. Robert Oram was our most interesting recruit, having just finished at Wrekin, he had been described by none other than the great Sir Neville Cardus, in the Times, as, "The Lindwall of Public School cricket." He ran almost from the boundary fence to bowl and was certainly pretty quick, but not all that accurate. He only took 96 wickets in the six years he was with us, but was at University a lot of the time, although he did have a high entertainment value when present.

Enter, Jim Scarborough, John Cuthbert, and Jeff Askew. We had a influx of good cricketers from 1955 onwards, mostly from Brigg Grammar. Jim was a mature chap, with a batting average of 16.5 as an opener. John took 76 wickets at an average of 7 runs apiece, and Jeff was a wicket-keeper/batsman. Peter Haines joined us from Brigg Grammar a year or so later, and those who knew him would agree, that he was the finest all-rounder we ever had, not altogether statistically, but because of his remarkable speed and agility. His leg breaks were nearly medium pace, he hit a ball very hard and was very fast in the field and between the wickets.

Peter and Mike Burbidge had arrived a year or two before, and no two brothers can ever have a greater influence on a club, both on and off the field. Peter had appeared in Wisden the year before for his bowling at St Peter's. They have, between them, set two records: Mike, 1000 appearances, and Peter 1000 wickets. When Mike appeared on the scene, Kees said from behind the stumps, "I believe he's a leg break bowler if he ever pitches one." Well, thirty-four years later, without pitching many, he's taken over 500 wickets Whilst he and Peter have fielded very well and given a pretty good imitation of batting most of the time. Of course, Jamie came too and though his action reminds me of an early warning system, he has still taken nearly 700 wickets.

Other members who joined in the early or mid-sixties were John Dent, who had a wonderful throw, Bill Margrave who had numerous talents, Keith Roberts, a whirlwind batsman, Gerry Holmes, very experienced, Lewis Strange and Keith Smith. The last two were to be Secretary and Treasurer for a good many years.


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