The team moved slightly up the Championship table from 14th to 12th, winning six matches and losing five, but we must aim higher than that. The main feature of the season was the brilliant batting of J. Hardstaff, R. T. Simpson and the evergreen Walter Keeton, who occupied respectively the positions of first, third and fifth in the national averages. Hardstaff is to be congratulated upon his achievement. He joins the distinguished company of Arthur Shrewsbury and George Gunn, the only other Notts batsman who have held the position. He has now scored more centuries than any other Notts player.
R. T. Simpson is to be congratulated upon playing himself into the England team and we look forward to him occupying that position for many years to come.
Keeton and Harris and also set up a county record for century opening partnerships, having performed this feat on 43 occasions.
Poole made a considerable advance, playing at time dashing cricket and scoring 1,293 runs with an average of 43. Against Leicestershire at Trent Bridge he scored the fastest century of the year- in 60 minutes- and in all 154 not out in 97 minutes. His partnership with R. T. Simpson (102 not out in 108 minutes) produced 251 in 97 minutes.
We need have no fears as to our batting strength for some years to come, but the bowling weakness is still a matter of concern. Whilst Butler bowled occasionally with his old skill, he was out of the team for some time with strain and injuries. Jepson worked as hard as ever but seemed to have lost some of his fire. Harvey for a time lost his form, but ended the season brilliantly, and if he can start next season where he left off, he will obtain a lot of wickets. Woodhead as usual tried his hardest and appeared to be unlucky.
The fielding was better, but is still capable of improvement, Simpson at cover, Poole in the outfield; W. A. Sime and Harvey near the wicket were at times brilliant.
Meads played in every match but one; when he voluntarily stood down to give Rowe a chance, who kept wicket with competence. Mr. Sime captained the side with ability.
The Second XI played ten Minor Counties Championship matches with the following results- won one, lost three, won on first innings three and lost on first innings three. A modest result, but one which enabled the team to advance ten places in the Championship Table. It may be mentioned that B. Notley was top of the Minor Counties bowling averages, having taken 24 wickets with an average of 10.3.
Martin showed very good batting form, with an average of 61.62, being 4th in the Minor County averages, but apart from A. J. Underwood who bowled very well against Yorkshire, no new bowlers were discovered. Underwood unfortunately is still in the army. E. A. Marshall captained the Second XI with skill and perseverance. It is surprising that with our traditions and ability to produce great batsmen we should for so long has suffered from a dearth of bowlers but they must be forthcoming before long.
The policy of the Committee is to develop our native talent by engaging promising young cricketers on their leaving school. This should produce future county players but the claims on National Service delay their progress.
Charles Harris’ Benefit produced the sum of £3,542. This is a record for our county and it not only a tribute to Charlie’s popularity but also to his organising ability.
We were honoured on the 20th July last by a visit to Trent Bridge of H. R. H. The Duke of Edinburgh, President of the M.C.C. A cricket bat, specially selected by Mr. W. H. Sherwin, was presented to him on behalf of the club. A photograph signed by His Royal Highness has been presented to the Club by Mr. G. G. Gibson, Chairman of Notts Playing Fields Association and this will be hung in the Long Room.
The Duke of Portland once again extended the traditional hospitality of his family to Dominion teams by entertaining the New Zealanders at Welbeck on the occasion of our match with them.
The accounts show a deficiency on the year of £125/2/11. Considering we have a record number of members, enjoyed a wonderful summer, and received £1,050 from the Test Match receipts, this result is disappointing. It illustrates however, the heavy expense of maintaining a county club and a Test Match ground. We are faced with very heavy expenditure at the moment in putting the concrete stands in repair and the work is at present in progress.
In 1950 the third Test Match V West Indies will take place on July 20, 21, 22, 24 and 25 at Trent Bridge. As is our usual practice, reserved seats will be available on the West Wing for members who contribute £1/1/0 towards to fund for developing young players.
In March last, on the initiative of the Club, the Nottinghamshire Youth Cricket Advisory Committee was formed. This consists of representatives of all organisations interested in youth with the object of encouraging cricket by schoolboys and youths. With the co-operation of the club, that Committee organised classes at Trent Bridge for training cricket coaches with W. Voce and W. W. Keeton as instructors. It is believed that these were the first of their kind.
The Central Council of Physical Recreation by Mr. R. Newton arranged the classes and selected the pupils. They were attended by cricket masters and others and were a great success. They are being continued throughout the Spring and it is anticipated that by the beginning of next cricket season 105 coaches (of whom 48 are school masters) will have been trained. This is a result of which the Youth Committee may be proud. Hitherto only the most promising players have had the opportunity to be coached. The object of the Notts Youth Cricket Advisory Committee is to give to every boy or youth who desires it the opportunity to play cricket under proper conditions and to be taught its technique. At present there are insufficient practice and match wickets; this must be remedied. All lovers of cricket should support the Youth Committee and the Notts Playing Fields Association in their good work which should eventually result in an improvement in the general standard of play throughout the county. The Club is helping this movement by organising trial games and county matches. Last year 66 promising schoolboys and youths played in such matches.
The M.C.C. recently formed a Cricket Enquiry Committee to deal with Youth Cricket. Our Chairman is a member of it as the representative of this area comprising, in addition to our county. Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire, and have been appointed Chairman of the General Purposes sub-committee. Mr. W. H. Sherwin, late President of the Notts Cricket Association is also a member of the Committee, representing manufacturers of cricket gear.
We regret to record the deaths of Messrs E. S. Heane, T. W. Oates and F. Dalling. E. S. Heane, who was a brother of the former captain, appeared on several occasions for the Second XI and the wartime County XI. T. W. Oates is the old county wicket-keeper who played for the county from 1897 to 1920. F. Dalling was our ground superintendent, and also looked after the gatemen’s staff. He also had great knowledge of the club and its history, and he will be sadly missed.
Harold Butler receives a well-earned benefit this year and we all hope that it will be a great success. He has been allotted the Yorkshire match at Trent Bridge on July 8, 10 and 11.
It is proposed to again issue the Year Book. Mr. George Gunn who has been the editor since 1947 has once more agreed to act and our thanks are due to him. It may be mentioned that during the last three years the book has yielded a net profit to the club of £1,732, besides being a permanent record of the Club’s affairs. It is being sent as last year to members (avoiding as far as possible duplicate copies to the same households). It is hoped that in the interests of the club, members will support the sale.