Trent Bridge / Seasons

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Trent Bridge

1965

1965 Team 1965

Committee Report 1965

The 1965 season, taken as a whole, was one of  the most disappointing in the history of Notts. Cricket. At one stage of the season the County were almost half-way up the Championship Table and then, plagued by the failure of the batsmen and ill-luck generally, the team declined to the enviable position which it occupied at the close. Ill-luck is never an excuse for a poor overall performance, but it is perhaps worth recording that on no less than five occasions we failed to achieve a win by the narrowest of margins.

Apart from the fine efforts and sustained bowling of Andrew Corran and Carlton Forbes and perhaps the emergence late in the season of Michael Smedley as a batsman of the greatest promise, no individual performances call for comment. They were, save for the occasional touch of success, consistently disappointing.

The tempo at which not only our own side, but in many instance our opponents, played the game last season is a matter of particular concern to your Committee. This is especially true of play during the most popular days of the season – The Whitsun holiday and on Saturdays. If cricket is to survive against the competing temptations of the garden, the motor car, the golf course and the television to name but four apart from the now almost interminable extension of the football season, cricketers must entertain or their livelihood must be in jeopardy.

On the brighter side, however, the 2nd XI did exceptionally well under Johnny Clay’s leadership to finish second in the Minor Counties table, losing the challenge match against Somerset for the first place under almost impossible playing conditions. We congratulate Ian Davison on topping the Minor Counties averages with 34 wickets at 9.91 runs apiece closely followed by Barry Stead who took 33 at 13.68 apiece. Mervyn Winfield was our most successful batsman with an average 38.68.

Several familiar faces are leaving us. Andrew Corran is taking up a teaching appointment in Australia and this will be a great loss to our bowling strength. Maurice Hill, who if his stroke play had only been matched with consistency would have achieved greatness, is also going, as is Brian (‘Bomber!’) Wells to whose loyalty to the Club we wish to pay the highest tribute. Alan Gill also leaves us and to all of them we extend our thanks and best wishes. Frank Shipston has resigned from the position of Coach and to succeed him your Committee have appointed Johnny Clay whose experience and patience should be of great value to our younger players.

Late in December our skipper, Geoffrey Millman, wrote and tendered his resignation despite the fact that his contract had yet a year to go; your Committee have, nonetheless, accepted it. He has done a good job during the eight years he has been with us and gained himself an England cap which was well deserved. For his efforts on behalf of the Club we thank him wholeheartedly. In view of this the Committee have appointed Norman Hill as captain. He is our senior cricketer and our most experienced player, and quite a personality in many ways. But if he can guide the side into providing the members with entertaining cricket he will do a great job. We wish him the best of luck.

We regret to record the death during the year of Arthur Staples, one of the great players of Nottinghamshire and to his relatives we extend our sincere sympathy. Cricket as a whole suffered a severe loss, too, in the death of Harry Altham, a late President of M.C.C. The M.C.C. are proposing to open a memorial fund in his honour, details of which will be published in due course and your Committee would like to commend this fund to you for your support.

It is also with deep regret that we have to record the death of Colonel H.R. Munt who had been a member of the Committee from 1938 to 1963. A former vice-Chairman of the Club and Chairman of the Test Match Committee he had devoted much of his energies to the welfare of the Club.

Three members of the Committee which was elected last year will not be standing for re-election this year – the Rev. Arnold Doxey, the ex-President Eddie Marshall, and one of Notts. and England’s greatest players, Bill Voce. Their combined contribution to Trent Bridge and its fortunes cannot be measured in words – is massive. We can only thank them most sincerely for all that they have done in their respective spheres and hope that they may soon be rewarded for all their efforts by seeing a return to its former greatness of Notts cricket.

The Committee are constantly searching for players and members may be interested to know that the following will join the Staff in 1966. Unfortunately, under the present Rules, both Garda and Hassan will have to reside in the County for two years before they are eligible to play in Championship games.

B. A. White. Aged 28, hard hitting left handed batsman and fine fielder who should be a fine asset to the side. In 1963 he came second to Parfitt now in Australia, in Middlesex averages with 1,300 runs at an average of 35.3. Capped by Middlesex in 1963.

Ismail Garda. Age 18, South African, educated in Pakistan. Left arm slow bowler and hard hitting batsman. Can also bowl fast if required . On one occasion scored 120 in a 20 over-match.

Basharat Hassan. Age 22 from Nairobi is an opening Bat and Wicket-keeper. He has made a very favourable impression on Touring Teams and joins the Staff with a very strong recommendation.

Following the decision by the Advisory C.C.C. to permit Sunday cricket on an experimental basis, your Committee have arranged two such fixtures in the coming season. The decision to do so was only taken after the fullest deliberation, for the Committee are well aware of, and fully respect, the views of a number of our members who are opposed to this. But it cannot be emphasised too strongly that this is an experiment only; payment in the normal way at the gate will, of course, not be demanded. In no case will Sunday play begin prior to 2pm, so that those wishing to attend a Church service and an afternoons cricket may do both.

In connection with Sunday cricket we should make reference to that highly successful encounter last year between the ‘old gentlemen’ of Notts and Warwickshire when well over 400 runs were scored between 12.30pm and 6.30pm, not counting a generous luncheon and tea interval. We are grateful to all who took part for the enjoyment they provided.
Another new departure this year is the arrangement of one home fixture (with Lancashire) at Messrs. Ransome & Marles Ground at Newark. We have many keen supporters in this area of the County and again we hope that this is an experiment which will prove a success.

Last year we had the pleasure of the South Africans for the Test Match at Trent Bridge, and all who saw the game will agree what fine cricket they provided us. This year we welcome an even greater attraction – the West Indians. In this connection we draw your attention to a little known fact. The Board of Control make to all Test Match Grounds an allowance equal to five per cent of all sums received for advance bookings for any test Match played on that ground. In 1964 when Australians were here we received over £1,000 from this source; last year, because of a great fall-off in advance bookings, we only received £351. So by making your Test Match reservations well in advance you can benefit the Club indirectly very substantially.

Our finances remain a matter for serious concern. Were it not for the magnificent help that we received from the Supporters’ Association, our position would be disastrous, and so your Committee ask you most earnestly to support the Association not only by your own contributions but by the enrolment of new subscribers. Your Committee will, of course, continue to examine schemes whereby our revenue can be increased by means of using the ground for income-producing purposes during the winter.

Another magnificent gift has been received from an old member, Mr. E.R.B Alcock, whose family have long been staunch supporters at Trent Bridge. This consists of a unique collection of books, bound press cuttings of records of games played over the years at Trent Bridge, manuscript diaries of famous players and fixtures. These have, during the winter, been catalogued and it is proposed to house the collection in the Dixon Hall so that it may be open to inspection by all members; many of the items are of such value that they will have to be kept under lock and key, but arrangements will be made for members or local Clubs, in appropriate cases, to have access to some of them.

Our President, Mr R.J. de C. Barber, has signified his willingness to continue in office for a further year and the Chairman will have the greatest pleasure in proposing a resolution to this effect at the Annual Meeting. The Committee unanimously wish to thank Mr Barber for his unfailing efforts on the Club’s behalf last year and wish him a more successful and therefore happier season during the next term of office.

Finally there are some administrative changes that will be proposed at the Annual General Meeting. It is our intention to alter the date of the financial year of the Club to run in future from 1st November to 31st October. This will enable the accounts to be prepared in time for the Annual meeting to be held in January, in common with the practice of most Clubs. It will also enable the new Committee as a whole to have some four months available to them to take such measures as they may think necessary before the start of the playing season. Likewise we are altering the date from which the players’ contracts run. We propose that in future the renewal date should be 31st December. Under the old system, a player who may be uncertain of his future must inevitable develop some anxiety as to the security of his job towards the end of the playing season, with obvious ill effects. If, however, he knows that his position is secure for at least three months after the playing, his confidence should not be impaired. To these administrative changes we attach the very greatest importance.

To all the members of Secretary’s Office, the Ground Staff and in particular the staff of the Supporters’ Association we express our warmest appreciation for all their efforts on behalf of the Club.

Our thanks are finally due to our membership and to all who watch cricket at Trent Bridge. During the past year a number of letters have appeared in the press on various aspects of the Club, some thoroughly well-founded, but others to a greater or lesser degree ill-informed. The President, the Chairman and all other members of the Committee will gladly meet and discuss any matter affecting the Club with any supporter; if any such supporter has difficulty in location a member of the Committee on the ground, the Secretary will be only too ready to arrange a meeting. This is a Club and the Committee are conscious that they are servants of the Club and its members.

H.T. Milnes, Chairman

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