Cricket Society of Scotland reveal 2018/19 speakers

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
September 20, 2018 5 years

The Cricket Society of Scotland has released their programme for the 2018/19 season with a number of excellent speakers venturing up north to deliver talks in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Included in this year’s speakers is Scotland seamer Alasdair Evans, former Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher and journalists Harry Pearson, Stuart Rayner and Tim Wigmore.

Meetings of the West of Scotland branch of the Society are generally held on the second Monday of the month at 7.30 p.m. at Clydesdale CC, Beaton Road, Pollokshields, Glasgow, G41 4LA. East of Scotland branch meetings are normally held on the following evening, the second Tuesday of the month, at Grange CC, Portgower Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH4 1HQ. Please note that exceptionally the annual dinners in March 2019 are on the third Monday and Tuesday of the month.


Monday 8 / Tuesday 9 October 2018

Stuart Rayner

Stuart Rayner was born in Scarborough, beginning his journalistic career as a sports sub-editor on The Liverpool Echo before joining The Journal as a sports writer in 2005. Since 2009 he has also written for sister papers The Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun. “The War of the White Roses” is his first book. It chronicles Yorkshire cricket’s civil war in the period between 1968, when Yorkshire County Cricket Club were at the pinnacle of the County game, and 1986, by which time they had become one of the game’s also-rans. Stuart examines this corrosive period in Yorkshire’s history from a completely neutral standpoint, drawing on interviews with players, committee members, and ordinary members of the club. No-one will be surprised to hear that Geoffrey Boycott is central to the story, but he was also one of those who agreed to be interviewed by Stuart.

Monday 12 / Tuesday 13 November 2018

Harry Pearson

Harry Pearson was born in 1961 in a village near Middlesbrough. He is a former sports journalist for The Guardian, a former travel feature writer for Conde Naste Traveller, contributing editor of GQ and a contributor to When Saturday Comes (a monthly football magazine). He has written at least a dozen books, mainly about sport and travel. He is a member of a small but distinguished group of authors to have won The Cricket Society / MCC Book of the Year award on more than one occasion. “Slipless in Settle – A Slow Turn Around Northern Cricket” was the 2011 winner and was also named Best Cricket Book at the 2011 British Sports Book Awards. Harry’s latest book is “Connie: The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine”, which won the 2018 Cricket Society / MCC Book of the Year award. Chairman of the judges, Vic Marks, described it as a “properly critical and well researched work.”

Monday 10 / Tuesday 11 December 2018

Alasdair Evans

Alasdair Evans is a tall, right-arm, fast-medium bowler who has played for Scotland for most of the last ten years. He was born in Kent to Scottish parents but moved up to Scotland at an early age and attended George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. He was involved in Scotland age-group cricket from under-13 level upwards. Alasdair made his ODI and first-class debuts in 2009 at the age of 20 and has been an integral part of the Scottish bowling attack for most of the time since then. He had a couple of seasons on Derbyshire’s books in 2012 and 2013 but, although he performed well for their second XI, he was unable to secure a place in the first team and was released at the end of the 2013 season. Alasdair led the Scottish seam attack in the ICC 2015 World Cup and the 2016 T20 World Cup and played in the ICC World Cup Qualifying competition in Zimbabwe earlier this year when Scotland narrowly failed to qualify for the main competition to be held in England in 2019. He was also a member of the team that famously beat England in an ODI at The Grange in June 2018 and later that month won the International Twenty20 Tri-series in Holland.

Monday 14 / Tuesday 15 January 2019 (potentially Edinburgh on Monday/Glasgow on Tuesday – to be advised)

Tim Wigmore

Tim Wigmore graduated from Oxford in 2012 with a degree in History and Politics. He is a former winner of the CMJ Young Cricket Writer of the Year Award and currently writes regularly for The Daily Telegraph, as well as ESPN, The New York Times, The Economist and The Spectator. His writing covers a wide range of sports, but especially cricket and football. He is also something of an expert on cricket’s Associate Countries having co-authored “Second XI: Cricket in its Outposts”, a highly commended volume which traces the development of the game in the Associate nations and was described by Mike Atherton in The Times as “a timely and excellent history of cricket’s new frontiers.”

Monday 11 / Tuesday 12 February 2019

Mark Peel

Mark Peel is something of a polymath. Having been educated at Harrow and Edinburgh University, where he read History, he then taught History and Politics at Fettes between 1983 and 2007. He is also the author of about a dozen books, including biographies of Shirley Williams, Donald Soper and the 14th Duke of Hamilton whom Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess, demanded to see when he landed his plane near Eaglesham in 1941. Mark has also written a number of cricket books, amongst them being biographies of Ken Barrington, Colin Cowdrey and Colin Milburn. His book “Ambassadors of Goodwill” chronicles England tours between 1946/47 and the Ashes-winning tour of Australia in 1970/71, tracing the transformation from the amateur ideals which the MCC clung to in the aftermath of the Second World War to the hard-nosed professionalism exemplified by Ray Illingworth on that Australian tour. His latest book is “Playing the Game?” which looks at the changing ethics of cricket from the infamous bodyline series of 1932/33 to the present day.

Monday 18 / Tuesday 19 March 2019 (Annual Dinner)

Alan Butcher

Alan Butcher is the senior member of the Butcher cricketing clan; his two younger brothers, Martin and Ian, and both of his sons, Mark (71 Test matches for England) and Gary all played first-class cricket. His daughter Bryony has played for Devon Women and Essex Women. Alan started his career in 1972 as a fastish left-arm bowler for Surrey but in 1975 settled into the role of specialist batsman. He was an aggressive left-handed opening bat with a fondness for hitting shots off the back foot. Despite consistently strong performances for Surrey, Alan was only picked for 1 Test and 1 ODI for England. After playing for Surrey for fifteen years Alan moved on to Glamorgan in 1987, taking over the captaincy in 1989, having previously captained Surrey. He finally hung up his boots at the end of the 1992 season having scored more than 22,000 first-class runs (including 46 centuries) and almost 10,000 runs in List A matches. Following his playing retirement he took up coaching roles at Essex and Surrey but his most challenging assignment came in February 2010 when he was appointed head coach of the Zimbabwean team. He was highly credited for reviving cricket in Zimbabwe and presided over their return to Test cricket after an absence of six and half years from the highest form of the game. Alan has written of his time in Zimbabwe in a book entitled “The Good Murungu? A Cricket Tale of the Unexpected.”

Monday 29 April 2019 – at 7.00 p.m. at Grange CC, Edinburgh

Annual General Meeting

Reports from President, Secretary, and Treasurer, setting of subscription levels for following year, election of office bearers, etc. (The venue for the AGM alternates annually between Glasgow and Edinburgh.)

For further information, please contact either Graham Hollier on 0141 427 0093 (or email or Ewen McConville on 0141 632 4218 (or email, Joint Secretaries, West of Scotland Branch, or Chris Warner on 0131 332 1162 (or email, Secretary, East of Scotland Branch.

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