Two members of Nottinghamshire’s triumphant double-winning squad of 1987 entertained members of the Nottingham Cricket Lovers Society (NCLS) at their December meeting.
Andy Pick and Kevin Saxelby were important and popular players in that team and enjoyed much success supporting the overseas pairing of Clive Rice and Richard Hadlee.
In that action-packed summer, Saxelby took 47 First-Class wickets @27.19 (his second most prolific season) with a career best 6-49 against Sussex. His List-A figures were even better, 36 wickets @19.91 and 5-21 versus Kent (figures he was to equal the following season).
Andy Pick, his seam bowling partner, took 39 First-Class wickets @ 30.92 and a season’s best of 4-75 against Lancashire; in List-A, ‘Picky’ took 35 wickets and bettered his oppo’s average by a few points, securing his wickets at 19.25; his career-best 5-22 secured a semi-final win over Gloucestershire in the NatWest Trophy.
Both pacemen took a wicket in the final of that competition to help restrict Northants to a gettable 228 but were not called upon to bat as all-rounder and Man-of-the-Match Hadlee led a late spurt by the Outlaws to land the Trophy. Weather had meant a reduced match (down to 50 overs from 60) that still had to be carried over into a second day – which meant fewer people to share the Outlaws’ victory.
Speaking to the NCLS in the Long Room at Trent Bridge, they each remembered Hadlee for his single-minded determination to win things for Notts and were full of admiration for his skills.
But their most fulsome praise was reserved for their skipper. Both Andy and Kevin spoke warmly of Clive Rice’s ability to inspire loyalty and commitment – and to drive his team on to that great double success. “If he’d asked us to, we’d have jumped off the Pavilion balcony”, they recalled.
The two overseas stars made an outstanding contribution to Nottinghamshire cricket, underlined as Clive Rice topped 1,000 runs for the 13th consecutive season and Richard Hadlee was just three wickets short of completing the Championship double.
But the contribution from the two proud ‘locals’ was remembered with great affection by the NCLS members present.
The December meeting brought the 2022 ‘season’ for the Cricket Lovers to a close but their plans for 2023 are well advanced. Speakers next year will include club President Basharat Hassan, England legend Dennis Amiss, and an evening looking at the long and – usually – friendly relationship with near neighbours Derbyshire.
Membership of NCLS is £15pa or entry on the night for £5 per session. Full details of the 2023 programme from firstname.lastname@example.org.