The Bracegirdle Blog:
Lord's & Ladies

Featured News | 14th June 2011

County Cricket returned to Newark last weekend with Nottinghamshire Women playing their Sussex counterparts at the Kelham Road ground, now home to the R & M Newark Club.

Nottinghamshire’s men played first class and one day fixtures in the town between 1966 and 1978 but those matches took place on the old RHP works ground on Elm Avenue.

Kelham Road could last lay claim to hosting a competitive game way back in 1856 when the county side played a first class fixture there against an All England Eleven. A glance at the scorecard reveals some names that have entered Trent Bridge folklore.

Older readers may remember the George Parr Tree – and Parr Stand, which stood where the present New Stand is located. Alfred Clarke was the son of William Clarke – again a man synonymous with our county headquarters both in its infancy and today with the stand that bears his name.

“Does Prince Charles bat?” I asked.

“No – but Camilla Parker Bowles!” he replied.

For this particular match, Clarke senior was in charge of the England team but two days after its completion on 25th August, he died.

History lesson over – and not for the first time, I’ve digressed.

Notts women lost their match by 17 runs – the second time in a few months that the Sussex side have spoilt my day, a point that I shall now elaborate upon.

Last October I was thrilled to be invited to join the Nottinghamshire players and staff on their trip to Buckingham Palace to receive their LV= County Championship medals from HRH Price Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Those same Sussex Women were also there, having won their own county championship.

As everyone lined up to meet the Prince, the official photographer was handily placed to click a souvenir shot of each handshake. My moment came – and went. I then noticed the photographer – “Did you get it?” I asked him. “Sorry Dave – I had to nip off because the Sussex girls asked if I’d take one of them all, posing with Graeme Swann, instead!”

It’s not often I’m lost for words but I was briefly stuck for a response – there’s no wonder I wanted our Notts Ladies to defeat them was there?

Whilst at The Palace (sorry about the name-drop) I did then find time to engage in conversation with one of the footmen and asked him about the Royal Family and their cricketing prowess.

“Does Prince Charles bat?” I asked.

“No – but Camilla Parker Bowles!” he replied.

From one glitzy event I could make, to one that I couldn’t. Last week I should have been at Lord’s – invited to a Summer Garden Party there. Sadly, as Notts were in action I had to decline – regarding my priorities, as someone once said, “I was never confused!”

I did watch some of the television coverage of the Lord’s Test though (Windowgate and all) – and even whiled away twenty minutes by entering a competition relating to it.

One of the leading cricket websites had set its readers the challenge of coming up with a few lines of prose that included the names of all eleven England players on duty - and this was my attempt :

The German maid heard the door Bell chime and she Trotted off to greet the party guests as they arrived.

“Guten Morgan,” she said as she let them in.

Cook had already prepared a Broad range of exotic nibbles Prior to their arrival, which included shark’s Finn soup, Swann pate and a cheese Tromelette.

“A little Strauss anyone”, said Pieter’s son, who had been hired as violinist for the party.

Surprisingly it didn’t win – on reflection, it was probably the Tromelette thing counted against me!

Anyhow, could you do better with a similar go for a current Nottinghamshire X1? Email your entries competitions@nottsccc.co.uk before Thursday 30 June and the winner will receive a bat signed by the Nottinghamshire squad.

Dave Bracegirdle provides ball-by-ball commentary on behalf of BBC Radio Nottingham for all of Nottinghamshire's LV= County Championship matches.

tunbridge wells

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