Tag Archives: David Willis

Thanks from David Willis

We contacted David Willis say that our thoughts were with him, and typical of the man he took time out to pen this reply.

It was very kind of you to write. Altough Bob didn’t play as many games at Stoke as I did it was certainly at the Stoke Rec that he honed his skills. We moved to the village from Manchester in 1954 and Bob and I were regulars at the ground on match days, carrying the players’ bags, putting the numbers up on the scoreboard and generally getting in the way. Read more

Centuries on Debut / Time Taken to Make First Hundred

Ben Foakes made a century in his first Test innings last week, and this fitted in nicely with some other analysis we were doing after CricInfo were asked to look at one or two things by their followers.

Four Stokers have made a century on their debut, (in Claire Trafford’s case she arrived on the scene with a score of 213 not out!), and many others have got to three figures in pretty quick time.

We were curious as the following question and answer was put to Steven Lynch at CricInfo:

Who took the longest, in terms of matches, to score a century in one-day internationals?
Two South Africans lead the way here: Shaun Pollock finally scored a century in his 285th one-day international, (190th innings), while Mark Boucher got one in his 220th match, (160th innings.)

Next is a rather surprising name: Steve Waugh didn’t make an ODI century until his 187th match, (167th innings.)

Six other players had at least 100 innings before scoring a century: Elton Chigumbura, (159), Arjuna Ranatunga, (144), Angelo Mathews, (115), Brendon McCullum, (109), John Wright, (103), and Sunil Gavaskar (100.)

86 players have made a century at least once for Stoke; only four, (and like Steve Waugh they are surprising names given the number of runs they have scored for the Club), have needed more matches to make a century for Stoke than Pollock did to ton up in an ODI for South Africa : Mike Cooper, Malcolm Dickson, Paul Worsfold and Nigel Edwards.

Eighteen players have needed more than 100 innings to score a century. Alistair McMillan did ‘a Gavaskar’ and scored his first hundred in his 100th innings…or rather Gavaskar did ‘an Ali Mac’ – Gavaskar’s only ODI century was made on 31st October 1987, Ali’s first Stoke ton came against Chessington on the 25th May 1986.

Full details are in the left hand column in this sheet : First Century

In terms of the number of innings; the middle column looks at this and in addition to the four Stokers named above, (less Paul Worsfold who scored his first hundred in his 189th innings), David Willis, Gordon Meredith and Tom Frost complete an illustrious sextet who needed more innings to score a maiden hundred for Stoke than Pollock did for South Africa.

We’ve also re-run the list to show the time taken from date of debut to date of first hundred. This is the third section of data in the sheet. Predictably a few of the same names mentioned above are there again, but there are some distortions with breaks from playing or making a debut at a very young age in senior cricket as a colt. David Willis ‘tops’ the time list having taken 24 years and 293 days to get on to the 100s board…although he started young and did have periods away from the Club. Keep believing if you haven’t made a century for Stoke yet!

So if you’re not on our hundreds board yet, (http://www.stokecc.co.uk/centuries/), keep trying!

At the other end of the scale, many have notched a century quite quickly in their careers. In addition to the four debut centurions, another five players have made a century in their first month with the Club, over a quarter of all centurions have ticked off a century inside ten innings, and nearly a third scored their first century within a year of making their debut.

As always, if you have any stories from any of these games we’d like to hear from you. E-mail stokecc@hotmail.com





Wisden Cricketer of The Year

Wisden coverage for both of our Ashes Winners.

Congrats to Nat on being chosen as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year.

Full story : http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23110420/three-women-wisden-five-cricketers-year

Full List : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisden_Cricketers_of_the_Year

Nat has also just given CricInfo an interview : http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23123414/hit-five-metres-boundary-get-12 in addition to one she gave All Out Cricket a while back :

http://www.stokecc.co.uk/2015/06/19/nat-gives-stoke-a-plug-in-all-out-cricket-magazine/ Read more





Lowest Career Averages to Contain a Century

In last week’s “Ask Steven” section on CricInfo “Irfan” from Pakistan asked:

I noticed that Ajit Agarkar has a Test batting average of 16.79 despite having a century to his name. Is this the lowest Test batting average to include a century?

Steven replied:

The Indian fast bowler turned Cricinfo pundit Ajit Agarkar might be relieved to learn that he comes in quite a way down this particular list. Agarkar’s hundred came at Lord’s, no less, in 2002; his next highest score was 48. There are eight players with lower batting averages who also scored a Test century, one of them a current player, the Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer, (16.27.)

Top of the list is someone who might also yet reappear in Test cricket. The West Indian fast bowler Jerome Taylor averages only 12.96 despite having slammed 106 against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2008-09. Taylor’s 106 that day is exactly double his next highest score.

The other Test centurions with a lower batting average than Agarkar’s 16.79 can be seen here : http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;orderbyad=reverse;qualmin1=1;qualval1=hundreds;template=results;type=batting

In a bored moment this got SDCC thinking and we looked at all our centurions, (now up to 81 after Alastair Curran, Ishan Mulchandani and Reino Grobler got themselves on our hundreds board this year – http://www.stokecc.co.uk/centuries/), to see how we compared.

In fairness to our boys, though, we only play single innings cricket and are more likely to damage our averages in the pursuit of quick runs towards the end of an innings; plus some others have also made a number of low scores as juniors when making their first steps into adult cricket; so we’ll compare our stats against the International ODI list rather than the Test list in the ‘Ask Steven’ feature. (We can’t do a T20 comparison as no Stoker has made a century in T20 cricket yet!)

The full list of 81 Stokers with a century to their name, (the eighteen players who played in 2017 are highlighted), and their career averages can be viewed here :

Career Averages for All Stoke Centurions to the end of the 2017 season Read more





My Greatest XI : Ian Wellman

“Hello from a hot and steamy Dubai!!!” writes Ian Wellman who has used some down-time out there to select and send in his contribution to the Greatest XI series. Ian continues…

Good luck for the coming season for all the teams at Stoke. We at Valley End follow the results closely as you know, and hope that you enjoy further promotions to follow the successes of recent years.

At Valley End we face another challenging season, to put it mildly!Both the 1s and 2s are in their respective Premier Divisions, while the 3s and 4s are looking to improve on their positions of last year where they both just missed out on promotion. All to play for…I am hoping that there are enough 5th or even 6th team matches again so that I can get a game!

So, Nick and Steve, (my cricketing sons), have been urging me to put together a team of the best ever I have played with at Stoke, but only on the condition that I did to not include myself, the reason being that they did not want the crowd to fall asleep while I was batting.

So here it is. I apologize in advance to all current Stoke players who may not know many of these players, but they form an integral part of our heritage and our history and were certainly a big influence on me in my early days of playing cricket, and NOT just on the playing field as you can probably imagine!

I have added a short “pen picture” for each player. (A team picture featuring many of these players is below.)

1. Nigel Edwards

Nigel was instrumental in taking me to the Club in that he ran the Colts in the early 1970s. Adam Jolliffe, Simon Taylor, Gordon Trapmore and I all joined at the same time from Oxshott. In addition to this, Nigel was an exceptional opening batsman, a great fielder and also covered as keeper for Dave Willis, more of whom later… Read more





Tall XI

With members currently putting together their selections for the “My Greatest XI” series, CricInfo recently ran a variation on the theme with an article about an all-time tallest XI : http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/1078035.html

Well, we have news for them. We’ve thought of that one already; Po coming up with this in 2013 : http://www.stokecc.co.uk/2013/05/27/sdcc-tall-xi/

Scorecard from that match : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/1943624

Since then we can add James Miller, Justin Jones and a handful of then colts who have now grown a bit, erm, a lot, (Cam Tarbet, Hugo Solway, Giacomo Gray, Ali Curran, Ben Holder and Ed Ashwell to name five), to the above squad.

Keep sending your squads and final XIs in to stokecc@hotmail.com





My Greatest XI : Chris Gudgeon

In response to our latest Joe Root/Richie Parrett article, we’ve received the following from Chris Gudgeon…

Dear All!

Firstly a very Happy New Year to all from a snowy Toronto! Love reading the excellent Stoke site and keeping up with the news. Read more





Best Wishes from Ian Wellman

Stoke’s 2nd all-time leading run scorer Ian Wellman has contacted us to wish us the best for the season.

Ian writes, (and this was in response to a mailer about the ceremony for Alan Wiseman this Sunday – see message board):

“Many thanks for the notification. Unfortunately I will not be able to make it to the ground as I am in Abu Dhabi at the moment…in fact I am about to give a certain Mr.D.Willis a call to see if we can catch up later!

All best wishes as ever to Stoke for a successful season. The League starts tomorrow. Nick and Steve…” Read more





Tributes to Alan Wiseman flood in

We were very saddened to learn that Stoke legend Alan Wiseman, passed away at the weekend.

Within hours of the new breaking Stokers in the UK and around the world have sent in their tributes:

Chris Gudgeon : “Very sad to hear of his passing. I cherish great memories…his dogs often left to roam the Rec during games…his rather unreliable Volvo cars…his thespian skills with the Cobham Players…The Folk Club. But overall my abiding thoughts are of his huge love for the Cclub…all of us heard of his dismissals being delivered by future Test players…caused by giraffes but Alan was a great competitor. He also served the club as Chairman…and was always around…Committee meetings it is fair to say we’re amusingly chaotic…but full of good memories. Will miss you Alan…puff away on that pipe in the clubhouse in the sky.”

The giraffe story is mentioned in the Club History page on this site, (much of which was penned by Alan himself), as Chris Finch recalls: “…He was one of the Club’s great characters. Some will recall his reason for getting out first ball at Chessington CC, being that as the bowler was about to release the ball and I quote “a Giraffe (from Chessington) popped his head over the sight screen!!!”

Andy Ivory : “This is just the saddest of news. I wandered into Stoke Rec in 1980 and it was Al who hooked me. He taught me the three essentials to sport: play to win; applaud your opponent; wash it down with a beer and a few stories afterwards. I was Treasurer to his Chairman for a few years and I can tell you he had Stoke running through his core. Thank you Alan for everything you mean to us at Stoke, and I forgive you all those run-outs.”

Ian Wellman : “So sorry to hear of Alan’s passing. As a Stoke member for many years, I had a lot to thank Alan for his great kindness and “advice” when I was growing up as a youth member. I certainly learned a lot from him, especially the art of “leaving the ball” which certainly served me well in my latter years. Those of you who, I know, follow the Valley End web-site will know that we too have lost two invaluable members of our Club in recent weeks, but like Stoke, these things always serve to bring us closer together, such is the strength in character and unity of both our Clubs.”

Mike Cooper : “Alan was my first coach as a colt in the late 70s! I then played in the 2nd XI with him. When I left school Alan’s garden was one of my first jobs. A true character.”

Rick Mustill : “Such sad news – a great character and we can all picture him leaning against the bar shrouded in pipe smoke and regaling us all with tales of Stoke batsmen and bowlers of the past all much more talented than us present bunch.”

Malcolm Dickson : “Very sad news! Alan was a true character, Stoke through and through, and a great link between the Stoke of years gone by and the present. I’ll miss him!”

Logie Logendran : “Alan, you are one of the best cricketing characters I have ever met. Your love for the game was immense! I have always enjoyed my debates with you on cricket’s past and future…the last time we bumped into each other, I enjoyed a good pint at The Bear in Cobham. Rest in Peace, Buddy!”

Ralph Coleman : “I had a similar experience to the one mentioned by Ivors. When you join a club you’re often pitched in with a load of people that you don’t know, or would need time to get to know fully, but Alan helped make that transition a smooth one with me and all the other newbies. His enthusiasm for the Club was a big selling point and to this day players join us, stay with us and recommend us because of the culture he and others created, the values he preached and the spirit in which he played the game – he made sure we did the same. When putting together club records and looking for details of players who played long before I joined, not only would I get the full name, but a pen-picture of each one along with a story or two to evidence their ability and character. Nothing was too much trouble for Alan. I lose count of the number of lifts he gave to me and others after matches – straight home, thus saving on rail and taxi fare. After finishing playing he would still come to watch matches whenever he could and would regularly e-mail the Club and Committee he served with such distinction with messages of congratulations and offering support and fund raising ideas. They broke the mould when they made Alan. People who saw his “I remember when…” – think about Uncle Albert’s “During the War…” in Only Fools and Horses – as a cue to leave often missed a great story, each one delivered with detail and humour. Thanks for everything you have done for me, the Club and the wider community, Al.”

David Willis, (brother or Bob for those who don’t know) sent in his own verdict : “…a stalwart of the Club since the 1960s and one of Cobham and Stoke D’Abernon’s wisest old birds. I once saw him make a fifty with thirty six singles and he got there in the last over before tea having opened the innings – the score was about 250 for five. I very much enjoyed his company – strong views about absolutely everything but he made a massive contribution to life in the villages. He will be missed by many and I hope that he can be remembered in some way. Please don’t name the scoreboard after him – most inappropriate!”

Stephen Finch : “Such sad news. Alan was one of the very first faces I saw on joining the Club in the hot summer of 1976, a character indeed and I’ll miss him regaling us with stories from games gone by while standing at the old Clubhouse bar, pipe in one hand and a tankard in the other.

Talking of old stories, hot summers and Alan, many will know of his pharmacy days. He and I were two of the Stoke touring side to the West Country in July 1989. It was a week of wall to wall sunshine and on the hottest day we played a fixture against Timberscombe CC.

Batting first, yours truly played one of my longer innings, (yes it used to happen in those days!), and Alan saw me over-heated sitting to one side with a cold towel between innings. As Alan was the senior pro, and knowing his pharmaceutical experience, I willingly swallowed some salt tablets he brought me from his kit bag and we immediately went out to field.

A few overs later, I was in my usual gully position, hands on knees waiting for the next delivery when suddenly I started literally frothing at the mouth looking more like a rabied dog than a cricketer. I wondered what on earth was happening and Alan jogged over apologising that he hadn’t told me to take the tablets with plenty of water! Vital advice in the circumstances – but no harm done in the end!

I’ll certainly miss him but will remember lots of good times too.”

We presume you mean this match, Finchy : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/231049

We will certainly look to have some permanent reminder in or around the Clubhouse and details, plus those of the funeral, will follow when known…

Alan Wiseman
Alan Wiseman





David Willis says Hello

SDCC recently had an exchange of e-mails with David Willis, (former Club Captain and brother of RGD for those not aware), to see how he was getting on and letting him know about forthcoming club events in case he was in town. In true D.H.Willis style his apology for not being around was more than a polite no…

As you know Stoke D’Abernon CC is closer to my heart than life itself but I happen to be living in Abu Dhabi at the moment so I am not available. I do look at the website every night before bedtime and marvel at the progress being made by the Club and I shall be back ‘ere long I hope, umpiring into my 80’s and 90’s I hope, hearing aid and dog with white stick attached. Read more