The Cricket Society of Scotland Programme 2017/18

The Cricket Society of Scotland has announced its speaker programme list for 2017/18.

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
September 18, 2017 7 years

Membership fees of £35 for an individual and £50 for a family membership cover the October to February meetings with a separate charge for the Dinner. There is a  single meeting fee of £10 which is deductible from any subsequent annual membership taken out.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.

Geoff Cope
Monday 9 / Tuesday 10 October 2017

Geoffrey Alan Cope was an off-spinner who represented both Yorkshire and England. His first-class career spanned the years from 1966 to 1980 but success did not come easily to him. Despite capturing 40 wickets at less than 14 runs each in 1967 he did not command a regular place in the Yorkshire team until 1969 when Ray Illingworth moved on to captain Leicestershire. He was twice forced to remodel his action after being suspended in 1972 and 1978, the legality of his action having been dubiously called into question on each occasion. Cope finally made his debut for England during the 1977/78 tour of Pakistan where he would have claimed a hat-trick in his first Test had captain Mike Brearley not made a political decision to deny that he had caught the third victim despite the umpire upholding the original appeal and the batsman walking uncomplainingly off. He ended his first-class career having captured 686 victims at 24.70 when in 1980 his action was questioned for a third time. In later years Geoff Cope was elected to the Yorkshire Cricket Committee, was appointed Director of Cricket in 2002, and was instrumental in getting Colin Graves (now ECB chairman) involved financially with the county when they appeared to be heading for bankruptcy.

David Ripley
Monday 13 / Tuesday 14 November 2017

Although David Ripley was born in Yorkshire, he has been associated with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club as player and coach since 1982 when he made his debut, aged just 16, for the County’s Second XI. A one club man, he made his first-class debut for Northants in May 1984 and only retired at the end of the 2001 season in which he had captained the team. In 307 first-class matches Ripley claimed 678 catches and 85 stumpings to add to his 227 catches and 36 stumpings in List A games. He was proficient in front of the stumps as well as behind them, scoring more than 10,500 runs in all matches including 9 first-class hundreds with a highest score of 209 made in the company of Mal Loye in the record Northants 5th wicket partnership of 401 against Glamorgan in 1998. Following retirement Ripley took charge of second team and youth cricket at Northants, taking over as first team coach in mid-2012. He had immediate success in his first full season in charge, leading Northants to promotion to the First Division of the County Championship and winning the T20 competition in 2013; T20 success was then repeated in 2016.

Alex Massie
Monday 11 / Tuesday 12 December 2017

Son of the journalist Allan Massie, Alex Massie is himself a freelance journalist. He is Scotland editor of The Spectator, a columnist for the Scottish edition of The Times, and a regular contributor to Border Television and BBC TV and radio. Whilst he is primarily a commentator on contemporary politics, he has also written extensively on cricket matters in the Spectator, The Times, The Nightwatchman, Cricket Monthly, and Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. His courage is undisputed: in 2015 he took part in a cricket tour led by fellow journalist Peter Oborne to the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, just a few miles from the Afghan border, where his team was ritually slaughtered (in a cricketing sense) by every opponent they played against. Nearer home, Alex Massie is a member of and plays for Selkirk Cricket Club.

Mark Rowe
Monday 8 / Tuesday 9 January 2018

Mark Rowe graduated from the University of Bristol in 1989 with a first in History. Since then he has worked as a journalist on a number of regional newspapers, as a sub-editor and as a magazine editor. He is the author of a number of books about Britain and the two World Wars and has also written three cricket books. The first of these examines the now largely forgotten Victory Tests of 1945 between England and a team of Australian servicemen whilst the second book is a history of English cricket since 1840 in a social context. Mark Rowe’s latest book, published in 2017, is entitled “Brian Sellers: Yorkshire Tyrant”. Sellers was at the heart of Yorkshire cricket from the early 1930s until his death in 1981. He was a controversial figure who not only captained Yorkshire to seven Championships but after his playing retirement was a prominent member of the Yorkshire Committee and largely responsible for the sackings of both Johnny Wardle and Brian Close and the appointment of Geoffrey Boycott as captain.

Scott Reeves
Monday 12 / Tuesday 13 February 2018

Scott Reeves is a freelance writer from Yorkshire. He is also publishing manager of Chequered Flag, a small independent publisher addressing niche markets for sports books ignored by the larger corporate publishers. Scott is the author of “Champion Band: The First English Cricket Tour” which tells the fascinating story of the twelve cricketers who left Liverpool in 1859 to embark on the first overseas tour by a representative England side. Their destination was the place where it was then thought that cricket was most likely to flourish – North America. The tourists were led by George Parr and came up against the best of the cricketers from Canada and the USA. Ironically, as it turned out, some of their opponents went on to pioneer baseball, the sport that virtually killed off cricket in North America.

Derek Randall
Monday 12 / Tuesday 13 March 2018 (Annual Dinner)

Derek William Randall played at the top level for Nottinghamshire between 1971 and 1993. He was an iconic member of the England Test side in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he played in 47 Tests scoring 2,470 runs including 7 centuries; he also played in 49 ODIs during that time. He reserved his best efforts for matches against Australia, with his highest Test score, 174, being made against them in the Centenary Test in Melbourne in 1977. He was capable of smashing to the boundary balls which other batsmen would play defensively or leave severely alone. He could also grind it out if required – his 150 against the same opponents at Sydney in 1979 was then the slowest century in Ashes Tests but by common consent was the innings that sealed the Ashes for England on that tour. In the field he was a dazzling cover point where, running in as the bowler delivered the ball, he saved countless runs. Any batsman essaying a short single in front of square on the off side was liable to find the stumps shattered before he could make his ground. Derek Randall exuded enthusiasm in all that he did, always played with a smile on his face, and was one of the great entertainers of his time.

Annual General Meeting
Monday 23 April 2018 – at 7.00 p.m. at Clydesdale CC, Glasgow

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 ( or Ewen McConville (

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