The 1972 season started brightly enough. Three wins from four games in the Benson and Hedges competition augured well, but in the event were not sufficient to gain a place in the quarter finals.
Thereafter our problems mounted. Gary Sobers resigned the captaincy after the first match; retired with knee trouble before the end of June; and a subsequent operation put him out of action for the remainder of the season.
Brian Bolus, who succeeded Gary as captain, was most unfortunate with the toss and the batsmen, from who much was expected, often failed when chasing modest totals.
Among the brighter features was the excellent bowling of Barry Stead, who took 98 wickets in first class games, many of them being the earlier batsmen. Bill Taylor’s bowling also showed a marked improvement.
Also encouraging was the performance of the 2nd XI, who won the “First Class Counties- 2nd XI Competition” for the first time in the Club’s history. Although the young players have a big gap to bridge if they are to graduate into the first class game, the signs are certainly heartening.
The opportunity was taken to blood five new youngsters in the first eleven and all acquitted themselves well. Given the right spirit and assistance from the senior players one can have every confidence in their future development. Derek Randall gained the most experience and batted and fielded in a pleasingly aggressive manner- the way in which cricket must be played if it to survive as a spectator sport.
The spirit in the 2nd XI was magnificent, thanks to the outstanding contribution of our coach, Frank Woodhead. Frank will continued to extend his connections with clubs and schools and to hold sessions in the indoor nets during the forthcoming Christmas and Easter holidays in search for players. Two all-rounders who performed well with the 2nd XI have accepted contracts for next season. They are Trevor Tunnicliffe, right hand bat and seam bowler and Gordon Edwards, an off spinner and left hand bat.
Although the 2nd XI did so well, the under 25 team fell below the required standard. In an attempt to rectify this situation Frank will henceforth be fully responsible for the Colts XI, working alongside Len Beaumont in recruiting new players for the team which is so important for the future of the club.
The reports on Gary’s knee are encouraging and there is every reason to believe he will be fully fit for next season. He had indicated that he does not wish to tour with the West Indies next summer and it is expected that he will be available to lead the county side in nearly all their games.
It is proposed to continue to pursue vigorously the policy of searching for and giving opportunities to Notts born players, a view so often expressed by members. Bearing in mind past experience t is perhaps unwise to make optimistic predictions in this direction- nevertheless it is better to live in hope than die in despair! With Gary Sobers as captain, backed up by a number of very good experienced senior players and the enthusiasm and developing skills of the young players we have available, their arm firm ground for believing that next season will produce some very exciting and successful cricket.