This chapter is
written by yet another “young sprig”, Harold Kerslake who
came to live in Hethersett in 1967. As a result of
word-processing the chapters by Mr A.J.R. Harris, it is a
humbling experience to follow so many great cricketers who have
upheld the fine tradition of sportsmanship in Hethersett since
1860. In the past year of 1995, I have attended the funerals of
Peter Harris and Donald Powell; hence I feel that it is even
more important to complete this record as an encouragement to
those who follow, knowing that they inherit a fine cricketing
tradition at Hethersett. I seem to remember Ralph Wright when I
first arrived who, still at the age of 56 years, was dispatching
the ball to the boundary with ease.; he had a very good eye and
firmly believed that the bat was designed to hit the ball to the
boundary with ease.
Ralph was a
member of a team called the “Evergreens”. Recently I was
invited into their team playing on the UEA Colney Lane ground
against a team which included two lady players, one of whom was
a grand-daughter of John Edrich – she too was a good left
hander. Unfortunately I disgraced myself by hitting the stumps
when the captain’s objective was to keep her at one end. And
so I am now 56 years and feel that it is important to Resume our
Innings. It is important that cricket never dies in our English
villages, especially Hethersett with its long and honourable
I propose to
cover our history from 1952 to 1996 using the “1952 Review”
the 1973 Team profile”, scorebooks provided from the archives
and my personal recollections.
Cricket is not
simply a superb sporting game chasing a very hard ball, but more
importantly it has the great charm of meeting wonderful
characters; their characteristics are even more varied and
interesting than the pitches on which the game is played. In
order to illustrate these characters, I give the following
description of players as recorded in the 1952 review.
(captain) – Always does his best to set an example for the
rest of the team to follow. Does not allow circumstances to
rattle him. Immaculate fielder, useful batsman and bowler.
(vice-captain) - The biggest hearted member of the team.
Has captained the team in many exciting matches. Useful change
bowler, bats well – when his wife is present!
Mr T.E. Hall
(Chairman) – A very useful middle batsman, good slip fielder,
has been useful when called on to bowl. We hope that he will
continue to play for many years.
Mr L. Gray –
We hope that he is not thinking of giving up cricket! Useful
batsman, “wide awake” fielder.
Mr M. Childs
– A good cricketer in every sense of the word. We hope that he
will play more next season.
(Bill) – When he hits a ball, he really hits it hard! He is
not – repeat not – “just a slogger”. Very good bowler
K. Swann (Swanny)
– Very attractive batsman, useful bowler, excellent
outfielder, exploits the “whip” throw perfectly. He must
make up his mind whether he is to be a fast or medium break
bowler. At present serving in the forces.
D. Ford – A
really fast left arm bowler with a classic style. Can be relied
on to get runs, especially when they are badly needed. Lively
(Penny) – A good batsman with a good batsman’s temperament:
cool, calm and unflurried when he strikes form, he is a pleasure
to the eye – and a nightmare to the bowlers.
(Chas) – Or Killer, a title earned by his hard accurate throw.
When he concentrates more, he will get a lot of runs. Very
popular bowler – with his opponents.
P. Harris – A
very accurate medium break bowler, seldom has an off day as is
shown by his position at the top of the bowling averages.
D. Mullins: We
could have done with this player in many more matches. First
choice wicketkeeper. Made 40 runs in his first match.
D. Pigg: Can
bat very well as was shown by his display at Saxlingham. A
bowler of uncertain merit. The captain usually puts on the Hon.
Secretary to bowl – the lesser of two eveils? – when faced
with the necessity of choosing between them. A reliable
wicketkeeper, brilliant slip fielder.
(Stork): A medium fast bowler who has bowled consistently well
this season with little luck. He can hit a six with the best of
them; not afraid to be on the losing side.
G. Moore (Nutchy):
A very good all rounder as shown by his position in the
averages. A tower of strength when fielding at point.
P. Webb: Best
bowling performance was at Saxlingham (5-10). A short-run
specialist. Good sport.
Promising left handed batsman. Medium fast right arm bowler.
Serving in the forces last season, was, however, one of the
keenest members prior to his National Service. Made 5
appearances while on leave. Batsman and slip fielder.
J. Ayton: Good
all rounder. A real lover of cricket. At present serving in
(Tarzan): Shapes very well as a batsman; a much improved
fielder; a very keen and enthusiastic student of the game.
Very useful all-rounder. We do hope to persuade him to play
regularly next season.
Bats and bowls and keeps wicket – Jack of all crafts, master
of …. Let’s not get personal!!!
Up and Coming
M. Day (Micky):
Has the shapings of a really first class fast bowler. Will make
a batsman when he learns to play fast bowling.
J. Smith: A
really wide-awake fieldsman. Shows promise of becoming a
R. Hambling: Is
a very useful fielder and shows promise of becoming
exceptionally good. Knows how to play a really straight bat.
A .Childs: A
very plucky batsman he must improve his leg shots and learn to
hit the ball harder. We look forward to the time when he becomes
a regular Hethersett player.
Some 21 years
now pass before we see Peter Harris’ 1973 team profile. We see
the solid core of club members continuing, together with new
players, both of which are vital for the health of any club.
Dick has this season taken over some of the wicketkeeper duties
from Duncan Pigg and has performed quite well despite a damaged
finger which has continued to take painful knocks in each match.
His batting this season has been a little below par but this
could be due to his extra responsibilities. Dick’s favourite
relaxation after a match is a good cigar and a pint.
A most accurate
medium to fast left arm bowler giving little or nothing away and
in the process picking up a considerable number of wickets. Yet
he insists on placing his fielders in the farthest corners of
the field. The only thing in which Peter seems to lack in
confidence is his cricket. No-one knows why. His batting ability
almost matches that of his bowling. He has a most delightful
forward defensive stroke in which the knee of his back leg
actually rests on the ground and his bat presents the image of a
barn door. Other interests, we believe, include politics and
support for minority groups.
A good batsman
and, on his day, a delight to watch for Chris probably has the
most attractive style of anyone in the club but, alas, other
commitments restrict his appearances in the team and
subsequently form suffers. Many players recall with relish his
tremendous innings against Mattishall two or three years ago
when, after a disastrous collapse by the early batsmen against
very accurate bowling in a cup match, Chris struck the bowling
to all points in and out of the ground to provide us with a very
the club this season and has already proved himself to be a very
useful acquisition. As a bowler he is quite quick and certainly
an attractive left-handed batsman with an eye for the open
spaces. Unfortunately here again, business will not permit him
to play regularly on a Saturday, but we hope to see a lot more
of him in the midweek matches.
unassuming character. Very useful batsman and usually appears in
the middle order but can, in fact, give a good account of
himself in any position. When going well has a particularly good
straight drive. Has been known (on the very rare occasion) to
bowl slow off spin (or is it leg spin). Jim has a very strange
action. One thing is for certain, he’s a nice chap to play
One of our
original youngsters and has developed into a sound reliable
batsman and a regular in the team. He can bat in any position
but seems more relaxed in the middle order and has a string of
good scores behind him. Apart from cricket has another interest
– he is courting, but she must be a considerate young lady for
he still finds time to play the game.
what is even more important, the Club secretary. As captain,
Tony has done a good job for Hethersett Cricket Club over the
past few years, but as secretary it is difficult to describe or
calculate his value. Let us just say that in the opinion of all
the members he must be, at least, the best in the county. As an
example what other club can hold their annual general meeting in
October and peruse an almost full fixture list for the following
season. Tony opens the innings with Mike Doble. He is not
particularly aggressive but has been known at least once to have
hit a six. Nonetheless he is very dedicated and has many good
scores to his name. Usually he is reliable and if a ball is
delivered up to him and somewhere near the off stump one can
depend upon seeing the ball dispatched into and very often
through the covers. His bowling is somewhat a mystery,
particularly to yours truly, but is known to produce results of
one kind or another. People have been known to wager on the
likelihood of Tony defying Isaac Newton’s theory of
gravitation but somehow the ball does return to earth and
frequently to the cost of the batsman. Needless to say, it is
not always one-sided, for some batsmen do like slow bowling and
take the opportunity to demonstrate it. Special mention must be
made of Tony’s wife Doris for the unselfish way in which she
allows and, indeed, encourages her husband to perform his varied
duties. One thing is for certain, they can both be happy in the
knowledge that as a team they are successful in doing a good job
Left handed opening bat and, on his day, very aggressive. Mike
is also a useful change bowler producing spin. His speciality is
to produce a delivery, deliberately (so he informs us) which on
making contact with the ground refuses to bounce and makes a
direct bee-line for the wicket at ground level. This is known as
the “Doble Satellite Delivery.” Mike is a vociferous
character but jolly good company.
all-rounder. As a batsman has a thing about hitting over pitched
balls off his stumps back over the bowler’s head and out of
the ground, very consistent he is too. Sometimes slightly
disconnects and drives hard and low much to the consternation of
his partner at the other end. It must be stressed that Tony has
a sound technique and is not just a wild hitter. A very useful
bowler and can achieve a lot of pace from a short approach to
the wicket. Tony can also bowl sharp, turning leg breaks but he
is not altogether accurate with these. Perhaps as he gets older,
he may attempt to master this for the value to the team could be
A left arm leg
break bowler to the right hander and off break bowler to the
left hander or is it the other way round? Anyway, whatever he
does he does it pretty well. David specialises in his bowling
and consequently bats fairly well down the order but has on many
occasions done a “backs to the wall” job for us. Has a
delightful wife in Joanne who is one of our scorers and helpers.
One of the
stalwart members of the club and, in fact, now referred to as
the Senior Professional. Until the middle of the 60s Peter was
considered first choice opening bowler, but batted down in the
tail at 10 or 11. However, as he has matured with age, he has
improved his batting to such an extent that he is now automatic
choice for the first wicket down position. In 1972 he broke the
club’s highest individual score record by hitting a
magnificent 88 not out. With regards to his bowling, the club
records speak for themselves. He has taken over 1,000 wickets,
holds the record for the most wickets in a season, the most
wickets in an innings and has taken over 50 wickets in a season
on 10 occasions. During his long career, Peter has served the
club as captain for two seasons and vice-captain for 5. The
writer (man and boy) has played cricket with Peter for over 30
years with only short breaks for military service and hopes that
we shall have many more enjoyable seasons together.
A very popular
member of the club. A fearsome looking opening bowler and
reliable batsman. His fielding has to be seen to be believed for
wherever he is placed in the field, whether close in or in the
deep, he has one speed for his return to the wicketkeeper –
fast. At times it’s quite amusing to see several players
lining up behind the wicketkeeper in order to save overthrows,
but it’s not so funny to be one of them. Hethersett Cricket
Club owes a great deal of gratitude to Harold for his unselfish
efforts in grooming the youngsters of the village in their
cricket and some of them are now making appearances in the team
and giving a good account of themselves. It is quite obvious
that the future of the club is assured with such fine young
players emerging and it’s all thanks to Harold Kerslake.
Norfolk from Nottingham and joined Hethersett Cricket Club in
1969. A very useful and stylish right hand batsman, his
favourite stroke is to cut a fast ball outside his off stump
through gully or slips. The faster the bowling the more Varnham
enjoys himself. One mystery remains unsolved. Why, when the
press photographer arrives, is it always him who gets his
photograph in the local paper? There is a lot of conjecture.
Some say it's his good looks, whilst others that it's his
distinguished gray hair. I subscribe to the theory that Marie
pays the photographer but I hasten to add not out of club funds.
A word here for Marie (Mrs Lightowler). She is the club
treasurer and very efficient too "cash on the nail or you
don't play - that's her motto. She is also one of our scorers
braving the cold winds associated with a typical English
The writer has had the privilege of playing cricket alongside
Duncan for the past 33 years and has many happy memories of this
association. It is fair to say that every member of Hethersett
Cricket Club holds him in very high esteem, not only because of
his great personality but also because of his sporting approach
to the game. Duncan will do anything he is asked to do without
so much as a grumble. This is illustrated by his willingness to
bat regularly, nowadays, in the lower order, suddenly be called
upon to open the innings (often successfully) for one game and
then return to his usual position. Duncan never lets success
turn his head. There is no doubt that he is the team's
"face saving specialist". When our backs are up
against the wall and we are attempting to bat out time to force
a draw, Duncan is the man to call on. Many a time he has batted
resolutely and saved the day. Unfortunately, this type of
contribution never makes the records despite the immense value.
Never mind Duncan, you do still hold the 10th wicket record
partnership with David Mullen of 63 set, believe it or not, 21
years ago. I can't recall the result of that match, but I bet
you can. Duncan has, of course, been our regular wicketkeeper
for many years performing with great skill and courage,
collecting on the way many severe blows, particularly to the
face. These are not due to bad keeping but because of
indifferent wickets. Mention must also be made of the fact that
he can, when required, "turn his arm over." Because of
his duties behind the stumps, opportunities have been rare.
Nonetheless Duncan has produced a vital wicket for us on the odd
occasion when not keeping wicket. I vividly recall, in fact,
when he took several wickets for us in a game against the
Eastern Electricity Board, despite the observations of one of
their batsmen. I hope, Duncan, that we may continue to play
cricket together for man more years and that we will also have
frequent opportunities in the future to listen to your excellent
speeches at our annual dinners.
sportsman, plays cricket to suit the team and not himself. Not a
great batsman by any means but a useful and accurate bowler. A
word of warning to any opponents - don't be kidded by Don's
fielding. He can be quite nasty when you attempt to sneak a
quick single. This advice comes from one who knows to his cost.
sportsman. If not selected he will still turn up and umpire and
very ably too. Andrew can well develop into a useful batsman and
when the chips are down, he will perform extremely well but his
basic fault is to leave his leg stump unguarded and this has
cost him his wicket on many occasions. He can also bowl quite
well and spins the ball but does not give himself a chance to
find a length. Andrew lacks nothing in enthusiasm and endeavour
and there is little doubt that he can blossom into an all
rounder of great merit.
The Rector of
Hethersett. How nice it is to have the local parson taking an
interest in the cricket played by his village - it's almost like
the old days. Mention must also be made of the fact that Mike's
delightful wife Margaret also comes to watch us in action,
whether Mike is playing or not. There is one complaint, however,
can the Rector please explain why he is unable to produce rain
when most desired? I refer of course to the odd occasion when we
are facing a hiding.
Jack is not a regular member of the team because of other
interests but has on occasions performed sterling acts for us
and displayed typical cunning associated with his county of
birth. He has a fine sense of humour and this is probably
illustrated best on the occasion when he was asked by another
player why he was wearing a watch when fielding. Quick as a
flash came the reply: "so that I can tell what time I was
probably what we may term as the senior of our younger members.
He has had quite a number of games with the senior side and has
performed with great merit, particularly in the field where he
has displayed some first class ground fielding followed with
excellent returns to the wicket. There should be a good future
for Peter with the club.
The veteran of
the club. The records show that Ralph joined Hethersett Cricket
Club in 1964, but, in fact, this was the date when he re-joined
us, having been a member before the Second World War. He is
still a very useful all rounder to have in the team but cannot
play regularly due to business commitments. Apart from his
occasional spells of steady slow bowling he has in many games
demonstrated his ability to hit the ball very hard and I vividly
recall two tremendous straight sixes a couple of years ago off
the Loddon opening bowler. His highest score was 69 which I
unfortunately missed but I am assured that this was a gem.
Jeremy Lightowler and Patrick Sexto (the surnames speak for
themselves). These three young gentlemen have given excellent
service to the team during the season and with youngsters of
this calibre coming along our future is assured. Jeremy and
Patrick are aspiring young wicketkeepers and David a batsman
(with the courage of his father in facing "quick"
bowling(. Good luck to you all.
Comment made in
1996 on members' movements since the 1973 team profile:
At this time of
writing, the following cricketers have moved to new pastures -
Dick Alexander, Peter Balance, Peter Bourke, David Buxton, Mike
Doble, Andrew Roberts, JackSquires, Peter Temperton and Patrick
Sexton. Chris Barrenger is still in the village and is still a
very much valued member of the community; recently his
cricketing son Robert was married in Hethersett Church.
Tony Dunton has
retired from cricket to become a very successful bowls player.
Peter Harris and Don Powell are now with the good Lord. David
Flint, Varnham and Duncan still take an active interest in the
club. Rev Mike Sexton has retired to Poringland and is kept
informed by our President Duncan Pigg. Ralph Wright plays for
the Evergreens and he is still very successful both with the bat
and ball. David Curson lives in Rockland St Mary and is kept
informed by our wonderful secretary, Tony Curson. Both Jeremy
and Nigel Lightowler play on very rare occasions as also do my
sons John and Jeremy Kerslake.
We now look at
the players in a 1996 review:
successful left handed batsman who is a reliable opener. He is
able to build his innings and has delightful attacking strokes
through the covers and square cuts. Good concentration and a
good runner between wickets. A very useful left handed medium
pace bowler with a good line and length.
A young player
who gives of his utmost best, even when injured. A determined
batsman who sets his mind on a good score and often achieves his
target. A useful fast bowler but the line tends to wander.
first rate bowler, always on target with good length. He has now
developed into a very successful mid-order batsman. Enjoys his
cricket and he is very competitive. It is good to see him
attacking the ball in the field.
A joy to play
with and he loves the game and is a true sportsman. A consistent
bowler of near perfect length with very good lift. He has
developed as an attacking batsman and is a very fast runner
between wickets. A fielder with a very good throwing arm.
most competitive cricketer in the club over the past few years.
A regular opener who consistently returns half centuries and
even centuries on a good day. A good medium/slow pace bowler.
Dave likes to win but he has developed to consider all the team
A newcomer with
high potential. Good batting but as yet not consistent enough
developed strongly from the boys team. A good attacking batsman
and has developed a smoother defensive stroke to good length
balls. Has started to develop as a bowler and has high
a bit of fun when playing cricket. An excellent slow spin
bowler, but has now developed medium pace with less success. Has
started to develop strongly as a batsman. With more self
discipline he will make an excellent cricketer.
A fullt mature
cricketer with a long loyalty to the club. Likes to field in the
deep and returns the ball as hard as possible. A good batsman
who lost form which he has now regained. A very good team
A very valuable
club player, utterly loyal and dependable. Has captained very
well, bringing as many players into the game as possible. When
the chips are down, he bats with determination and sweeps to leg
with ease. A very good sportsman.
legend. His tremendous concentration plus a fine judgement of
both score and time when captaining. The best defensive bat in
the club and guards his wicket with determination. Has excellent
cover shots and square cuts; excellent judgement of bowling
lengths. An excellent fielder at mid off, consistently he has
caught and stopped some stinging drives. Has a sterling
character and does not waiver to apply the rules strictly and
A good hitter
when on form. Very competitive. A fierce medium pace bowler.
Tends to lose interest when things aren't going well.
conventional batsman who concentrates hard. An excellent
fielder, especially catching, he is often surprised by his
markedly in the past season as a batsman. He is basically a
hitter who thrives on slow bowling. A very useful wicketkeeper
and vice-captain. He has a good sense of fun and enjoys his
veteran of the club who can attack the ball with a well timed
drive. An accurate slow/medium pace bowler. An excellent Hon
Treasurer. He has a very wise brain when reviewing play and
choosing players for selection.
A very loyal
young man who is developing steadily as a batsman. His fast
bowling can be wayward on occasion but nonetheless it is
difficult to hit.
promising young man who enjoys the game and is learning
Mike has made a
miraculous recovery from a near fatal motor car accident; it has
been wonderful to see his cricketing friends support him. He
remains a very good medium pace bowler and I am sure that his
hitting form as a batsman will return in due course. It is good
to see him wear a helmet, a feature now provided for young
players against hostile short pitched deliveries.
Sadly left the
club due to heavy business commitments. He is very much missed
as he loved the game so much. At all times a very fair sportsman
A very good
fast bowler with a natural late away swing. He has started to
develop as a batsman. He loves the game. Sadly Assad suffered an
eye injury when batting; it is good to see him enjoying cricket
again and sensibly wearing a helmet.
A quiet mature
cricketer. Bats sensibly to build his innings. A very good slow
bowler who will be very successful.
for the Evergreens eleven and an occasional Hethersett Cricket
Club side. Ralph has an excellent eye and believes in hitting
the ball very hard. His bowling remains excellent in length and
he is still successful in taking wickets.
young players have progressed from the boys team and we look
forward to seeing them develop strongly in the near future:-
Russell Cooper, Saheid Abbas, Robert Harrison, Chris Bolderstone,
Adam Nicholls, James Curson, Arran Nodes, P. Burrows and A.
our review of players from 1952 through 1973 to 1996. I hope
that you agree with me that cricketers are very "colourful
characters". We now look to the next chapter in a good
position to understand why it is that Hethersett Cricket Club is
very much NOT OUT.