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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

Tributes pour in for Bob

Everyone connected with the Club is shocked by today’s news. Our hearts go out to David W and his family.

Former Chairman Chris Gudgeon, now living in Canada, has taken time to pen the below:
The news today is very sad.
Bob leaves so many memories as a friend, neighbour and hero to me as a child.
On his return from Australia as a replacement to Alan Ward on his first tour I went round to his house on Bray Road where he gave me an autographed list of all the players.
I still have that treasured item.
He loved Stoke D’Abernon CC, visited us many times and was always humble as to where his amazing career began.
Rest In Peace, Bob Read more

Dismissing Opposing Opening Bats

Earlier this year Jimmy Anderson dismissed Kragg Brathwaite to pass Glenn McGrath as the bowler to have removed the most opening batsmen in the history of Test Match cricket; the 156th time he has removed an opener for those who like to know numbers.

This got our stats guys interested and we took a look at all the opening bats dismissed by Stoke bowlers in League cricket, (including Trust League and Women & Girls cricket), back to 1972 when we joined the South West London League. Since then we have also played in the Wey Valley League, the Fuller’s Brewery Surrey County League and, since 2009, the Surrey Championship.

The person with the most number of opening bat dismissals is still adding to his count. Adrian Mills reached 151 during the 2019 season; Mike Cooper, Ralph Coleman and Gary Harkett also have more than a century of opening batsmen in their pocket; the next highest is RUN OUTS with 94.

Run Outs leads the way in women & girls’ cricket, (22 occasions), so when looking at bowlers Nat Sciver leads the way with 18 closely followed by Rosie McEwing, (16), Charlotte Elworthy, (11), and Millie Frost…Millie’s brother Will features quite high in the overall club list having passed the half-century mark recently – not bad for a spinner.

He of pony tail also leads the way when looking at the number of times a player has dismissed both openers in the same league game, (25), although Toby Tarrant is steadily making his way up that list so it will be interesting to see if he can catch him up over time, and if so how quickly.

To the end of the 2019 season 244 different bowlers have dismissed an opening bat in league cricket, (add in run outs and another unique dismissal – see below), and we have quite an extensive list. 86 different bowlers have dismissed both openers in the same league game.

Are you on the list?

A breakdown per bowler/per competition is here – Opening Batsman Dismissed– so you can see if you have dismissed an opening bat, and how many times. There are four tabs:

* Number of openers dismissed (A-Z by bowler)
* Number of times a bowler has dismissed both openers in the same league game (A-Z by bowler)
* Most number of openers dismissed
* Most number times a bowler has dismissed both openers in the same league game

There has only been one instance of both openers being run out. This happened on the 9th August 2009 when Elizabeth Donkin and Suzie Wood effected the run outs of both Horsham’s openers. Scorecard : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/1195764

One other notable addition to the analysis occurred on the 20th July 1996 in a 2nd XI fixture where Old Guildfordians’ opening batsman was dismissed ‘Handled the Ball.’ This is the only recorded instance of a dismissal this way by a Stoke team, and will be a record that will stand for ever as ‘Handled the Ball’ will no longer go into a scorebook, for those who haven’t studied recent changes to the laws, handling the ball is now classed as one of the ways to be dismissed ‘Obstructing the Field.’ The scorecard for the game is here : http://sdacc.play-cricket.com/website/results/2314207

We contacted a couple of our greatest servants to the Club who were on the field that day; coincidentally both have their umpiring badges so we can take what they say as gospel.

Mike Baker : “…this was actually straightforward, though I recall it took some effort to convince their player umpire to give it. The batsman decided to leave the ball and realising that he had made a mistake and it was going to hit he patted it away with his hand. Obviously not a quick delivery, Gary, (Harkett), bowling up the hill if I remember correctly. Keith, (Watson), was keeping and obviously appealed. I had a good view from my usual gully position. I think the uniqueness of the dismissal made it stick in the memory.”

Rick Mustill : “I have memory of someone stopping the ball rolling back on to their stumps – a bit Goochie like…but I’ll go with Mr.Baker and his concise explanation!”

Here is a link to said Graham Gooch dismissal : http://youtu.be/Ph126DUK0r8

As always, we welcome any feedback or stories from this analysis.

E-mail stokecc@hotmail.com or contact us via the @StokeDabernonCC Twitter page.





Local Games to Start the 2020 Surrey Championship Season

The 2020 Surrey Championship fixtures have been released.

The 1st XI’s first ever match in Division 1 will be at home to Leatherhead; the 2nd XI start life back in Division 5 with the shortest of trips to Oxshott.

The full fixtures can be viewed here:
1st XI : http://www.stokecc.co.uk/2014-1st-xi-fixtures/
2nd XI : http://www.stokecc.co.uk/2014-2nd-xi-fixtures/





Surrey OSCAs – JT Wins, Pagie Shortlisted

A great day off the pitch for the Club on Sunday as two of our finest made shortlists for an Outstanding Services to Cricket Award.

The OSCAs recognise the hard work thousands of volunteers across Surrey put into the recreational game. An OSCA nomination is a great way for the Surrey Cricket Foundation to say thank you to your volunteers.

Nominees and nominators were invited to attend an event at the Kia Oval on Sunday 18th August on Day 1 of Surrey’s County Championship fixture against Hampshire, and we had success in two categories; details below with a background to each nomination.

JAMES TROWER – WINNER
Young Volunteer 19-25
James joined the club 15 years ago as an Under 9. He progressed through the colts into senior cricket. He was appointed 1st XI skipper in 2016 at the age of 21, leading the team to three successive promotions from Div 5 to Div 2 in the Surrey Championship. He qualified as a Level 2 coach at the age of 18 and he works tirelessly to ensure that the club has an inclusive environment for all ages, levels and abilities of cricketers. Friday night training now sees senior players supporting coaches in each age group. James leads this through a weekly duty rota for all senior players to support different coaching sessions. He works with the 2s, 3s and Sunday skippers to ensure that colts are given the opportunity to shine in senior cricket and he was instrumental in organising the recent ‘Stoke Smash’, when team managers and 1s players played a 16 over match in front of 100 enthusiastic colts. He is a Club man to the core and is a role model for the younger colts; constantly coming up with new ideas to improve the way things are done, both on and off the field. His positive energy is infectious.

ANDY PAGE – Final 4 Shortlist
Lifetime Achiever
In 22 years as a member of the club, Andy has made an enormous contribution. As skipper of the first eleven for 6 consecutive years, (2004-2009), he led the transformation of the team from ageing middle aged men to a group of former colts aged 14-18. In doing this, he secured promotion with a team of teenagers from the Fuller’s League to the Surrey Championship, establishing the platform for today’s ‘grow your own players’ policy. At the same time, he skippered the Surrey Trust League team, using it as an additional vehicle for colts development. He subsequently managed the Club’s very successful Ladies team for 5 years, the most famous export being Natalie Sciver. In 2013, he joined forces with the chairman to re-design the clubhouse and make it fit-for-purpose for life inthe Surrey Championship. The Chairman led the fund-raising process and as a practicing chartered surveyor, Andy project-managed the £250,000 build in 2015, refusing to charge the Club for his time. Today, he remains on the Committee in charge of facilities and he continues to play 2s, Sunday and midweek cricket. To many members, he is known as the man who modernised the Club.



Thanks to Drew for the images of JT, (between between Gus Atkinson and Stuart Meaker); and Pagie who was always going to struggle to win because of his age and tenure, (the winner has 62 years’ service to one club under his belt), but our sources say he was incredibly touched and quite emotional. It was a big deal for his family who were also in attendance!

Details of other categories and awards can be found here : https://twitter.com/SurreyCricketFd





Stoke Smash I – Pictures (1)

The first round of images from last Friday’s inaugural Stoke Smash have hit the Club’s in-box…


riday’s I







We’ll add more as we receive them.

Stay tuned for the thoughts of Chairman Drew on this incredible event!





Best Ever Stoke Bowlers in the Surrey Championship?

So we’re about to start our 11th season in the Surrey Championship, and our first in Division 2 after three successive promotions.

Whilst our progress through the divisions has relied on a combination of batting, bowling, fielding and keeping excellences, not to mention tremendous team spirit and the support network behind the scenes; an article on CricInfo appeared in the off-season penned by Anantha Narayanan who chose to look at the role played by the bowlers in the success of any team. It would be remiss of us not to look at how our bowlers have done in comparison!

Narayanan tested a number of factors; but the one that is most comparable for us is the balance between economy and strike rate.

In the Surrey Championship we play a ‘split format’ of nine limited overs matches and nine timed/declaration/100 over matches.

The 50:50 matches potentially place more of an emphasis on economy rate than strike rate; in the timed/declaration/100 over matches it is arguable that the reverse applies with the need to force a result or dismiss a side as quickly as possible to enable the batting line up to get more overs back; but both factors come into play at various points in each format.

Narayanan’s conclusion was that, statistically, Rashid Khan, Joel Garner and Mitchell Starc were the three best ODI bowlers in history when looking at his various tests. (Minimum 100 ODI wickets.) Not a bad trio.

So using the same ‘economy & strike rate’ methodology, we took a look at our first decade in the Surrey Championship to see how our bowlers compared, and here they all are on a graph. The horizontal axis is strike rate, the vertical economy rate.


You may need to click on this image to enlarge it depending on what device you are reading this on.

To recognise the contribution of all the bowlers used over the last decade – and to get more interested parties looking at this! – a bowler has only had to take a minimum of nine wickets to make it.

The diagonal line is referred to by Narayanan as the ‘Line of Excellence’ – any players to the right of the line have a better combination of economy and strike rate; the further away you go, the better you are statistically.

Good news for Captain Trower is that all the bowlers expected to feature for him this year appear above the line. Dare we suggest that our best ever five man attack would be Douthwaite, Miller, Dyson, Spreeth and Zander? Not a bad combination – but of course only one of Miller and Dyson would be eligible to play at any one time; so who would you choose in place of one of those two, or indeed who would be your best ever Stoke bowlers in the Surrey Championship?

Let the debate – and the banter – begin!

For the record, here are the bowlers’ stats from 2009 to 2018 inclusive : 1st XI Runs Per Over Strike Rate and Average 2009 to 2018

(We’ll run Narayanan’s ‘economy & strike rate’ methodology against Stoke’s all-time leading wicket-takers and publish a separate article, but for now we’ll let you – and opposing batsmen agonising the prospect of facing any of our excellent bowlers – digest this one first!)