Sunday, 1 February 2015

Weekend warmer - Rhodes and Jackson achievement should be recognised

It has been a fairly quiet week for on field activities at Derbyshire, so perhaps this is the time to comment on one or two off field things.

The building refurbishment seems to be going well and the regular updates from the club have been both welcome and impressive. Everything seems to be on schedule for the season, which is heartening for players and supporters alike. I cannot wait to see the new facilities at the start of the summer, which promises to be even more exciting than usual.

The week brought news of a new job for Tom Holdcroft, the club's Media and Marketing manager, who is set to move to Nottinghamshire as Media and Communications Manager. It is a great opportunity for him and one that is fully deserved. In eight seasons at Derbyshire he has dragged the club's off-field activities into the 21st century and done a fantastic job.

When I think back to the club's website, communications and image at that time, there is no comparison to today. Tom deserves full credit for a job well done and will take some replacing. I would like to thank him for the help that he has given me over the years and wish him all the best in his new role. It is a shame that it's on the dark side, of course, but in life you go where the opportunities are.

He will do well, though I hope he's reporting on the wrong side of results when our two teams meet!

Finally today, it is a year for anniversaries. We had the recognition of Winston Churchill's death and it's fifty year anniversary last week. It is seventy years since the end of World War Two and also fifty years since something quite extraordinary happened in Derbyshire cricket.

In 1965, Harold Rhodes and Brian Jackson were first and second in the national bowling averages. I am no statistician (and if anyone can prove me wrong please get in touch), but understand that this is the only occasion this happened in the history of English county cricket. It is certainly unique for Derbyshire and I hope that it is marked by the club at some point during the coming season.

I will certainly do a piece on it during the coming months, because the efforts of the two that summer were quite extraordinary. Rhodes, now 78, took 119 wickets at eleven runs each, while Jackson, now 81, took 120 wickets at just over twelve runs each.

When one considers that behind them in third, fourth and fifth place were Brian Statham, Tom Cartwright and Fred Trueman, the magnitude of the achievement becomes clear.

While celebrating the promise of the present and anticipating that to come, I feel it is very important that Harold and Brian are recognised for their efforts fifty years ago during this summer. Both were outstanding bowlers and would have been so at any stage in the game's evolution. They would be worth a fortune in the modern game and we are fortunate to have them still with us to celebrate those achievements.

I hope that such recognition is forthcoming and look forward to reporting on it in due course.

More from me in the week.

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