The season of 1937 was one of the most disappointing that the Club has experienced for many years.
30 Matches were played, 6 were won, 4 were lost and the remainder were drawn. In the Championship Table the County fell from fifth to tenth place. This was largely due to injuries to the team’s three leading bowlers. Larwood, Voce and Butler, from this or other causes, rarely played together at the same time. Voce’s injury in June kept him out of the field for the remainder of the season. He has since undergone an operation for the removal of a cartilage in his knee, and it is the wish of all cricket followers that this stout-hearted cricketer will have fully recovered by the time our Australian visitors arrive in the Country. Butler performed the hat-trick twice, viz.: v. Surrey at Trent Bridge and v. Leicestershire at Worksop.
Apart from these bowlers, the attack was singularly ineffective. It is useless disguising the fact that until the County can find at least one spin bowler who is capable of keeping a length, and change bowlers who can do the like whilst the leading bowlers are resting, we are unlikely to win many matches.
So far as the batting is concerned a more cheerful picture can be presented. Hardstaff scored 1,920 runs with an average of 66, and established himself as one of the leading batsmen of the Country.
Keeton, by scoring over 2,000 runs with an average of 45 proved that he has made a good recovery from his accident of two years ago.
Harris again shewed his reliability by scoring 1,877 runs with an average of 44, and George Gunn made a most striking advance by scoring 1,763 runs with an average of 43.
It is doubtful if any other County possess four better batsmen than those named. Mr. Heane had a thankless task in leading a side which was seldom at full strength. His fielding was as inspiring as ever and in this respect he set an example which unfortunately was not always followed. He proved a useful change bowler, and, owing to the leading bowlers being absent so frequently, had on more than one occasion to open the bowling. Few, if any County Captains, have had so difficult a task as Mr. Heane had during the past season.
Mr. C. R. Maxwell’s wicket-keeping was greatly admired, and he is undoubtedly one of the best wicket-keepers in the Country, but he was not always available. He was also effective with the bat, having an average of 35 for 10 innings.
After many years of loyal and valuable services to the Club, Willis Walker and Ben Lilley played their last matches. The former had for many years been one of the batting mainstays of the side, and the latter had kept wicket with efficiency, and frequently rendered useful service with the bat. Lilley on several occasions during Mr. A. W. Carr’s absence through illness had to take over the responsibilities of captaincy, and discharged these duties with ability and tact. Both Walker and Lilley are very fine types of professional cricketers.
During the past season the following made their first appearance in the first team:- Mr. E. A. Marshall, J. Bradley, J. W. Buxton, R. Giles, G. Walker, D. Watkin and G. Yates.
The Club and Ground, and the Second Eleven, played numerous matches during the season under the Captaincy of Mr. E. A. Marshall. The thanks of the Committee are tendered to Mr. Marshall for his valuable services. The expenses of these matches amounted to 191 19s. 4d.
Arthur Staples Benefit. Arthur Staples received a well-earned benefit which yielded £1212 16s. 1d. This result compared favourably with that of many others. In view of the fact that the Special Appeal to members was being made at the same time the result is regarded as satisfactory. It may be stated that Staples was given the option of deferring his benefit until 1938, but preferred to take it this year as originally arranged.
The good result is due to a great extent to the work of the Benefit Sub-Committee with Mr. G. A. Rhodes as Chairman, Major John Ashworth as Vice-Chairman and Mr. A. J. Allcock as Hon. Secretary.
The latter has for many years past worked indefatigably for the organization of collections, district benefit matches, and collection cards, and has earned the gratitude of all Beneficiaries during that period.
Signed on behalf of the Committee, H. A. BROWN, Secretary.