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Stradbroke's Michael Hugman looks back on his last four decades with the club




Michael Hugman is chairman, groundsman, opening bat, historian and former captain of Stradbroke Cricket Club.

Here, he has he picked not necessarily the best XI players, but the most influential during his four decades with the club.

Read on to find out which players made his selection.

Stradbroke, Suffolk. Cricket action from Stradbroke vs Stowmarket II - Stradbroke in Bat - Michael Hugman. ..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (34721369)
Stradbroke, Suffolk. Cricket action from Stradbroke vs Stowmarket II - Stradbroke in Bat - Michael Hugman. ..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (34721369)

1. Matt Wise: Flowing opening bat, fearless wicketkeeper and skipper capable of getting the best out of the meagre rations he has often been given.

His greatest strength is that he thinks like a cricketer. (Runs 3763, Catches 74, Stumpings 37).

2. Alan Barker: Devastating opening bat who mixed technique with terror.

Barks would undoubtedly have played for Suffolk like his dad had he not fallen out of love with a game that came so naturally to him.

Would often announce that he was going to ‘tee off’, but said little else. (Matches 295, Runs 5930, Wickets 200).

3. Tim Corridge: From the age of 10 you could see a player. Capable of doing everything, his biggest asset was his cricket brain, reading the game situation.

No surprise he became a coach. Youngsters particularly took to him. I always enjoy talking cricket with Tim. (Runs 2699, Wickets 266).

4. Doug Gadsby: Whippet like, batting, bowling, or keeping wicket, Doug belied his age.

Always sold his wicket at a high price, many an innings was built around him.

Likes whiskey, hates losing more than anyone I ever played with. (Runs 3457 Catches 76, Stumpings 36).

5. David Allum: For nearly 35 years I have looked up and Dibble is at the other end, occasionally the same end!

A surly, fierce competitor on the field, the first to socialise with friend and foe# off it. The stats don’t lie. (Matches 736, Runs 12938, Catches 298 Stumpings 30).

6. David Tooley: ‘Kit’ was the baby of a very good team in the early 90s, but outshone everyone.

The fastest bowler I ever played with, delivered with the smile of a tiger. Destructive batsman on his day, possessed a rocket arm in the field.

Great company, always enjoyed the social side of the game. (Matches 355, Runs 4719, Wickets 588, Catches 81)

7. Adam van der Looy: One of several overseas players who passed through the club.

Affable, laid back Kiwi who was a good enough keeper to have played second grade back home.

Brought a different dimension to our play, but it was as a coach he excelled, engaging with old and young.

Little surprise he stayed in England, working as a coach at Lord’s Indoor School. (Runs 2417, Catches 44, Stumpings 27)

8. Graham Norman: Irritating off the field, always dependable on it. Classical left-arm action, quicker than he appeared.

As a batsman his best innings came when the team really needed them.

After playing for Diss, ‘Chippy’ emigrated to Australia. Worked harder at his game than anyone I ever met. (Runs 2118, Wickets 378).

9. Fergus Morgan: Somehow juggles his life as a theatre critic, coaching in local primary schools, racing in to bowl and making batting look ridiculously easy.

His dry humour combines well with a wonderful demeanour he displays when coaching children, who always feel at ease. Only a beer feels nervous in his company! (Runs 1639, Wickets 97).

10. Richard Pierce-Saunderson: It is said, if you want something done, give it to a busy man.

For the past 15 years this is Richard’s mantra as an administrator.

When his head is on the game he is an obdurate, frustrating batsman to bowl at. A typical Yorkshireman! Staunch upholder of the spirit the game should be played in. (Matches 293, Runs 2531).

11. Tom Smith: Whether as a player, coach, umpire, administrator or spectator, Tom has trenchant, but well founded opinions on the game.

The slowest bowler I have ever seen, but not to be underestimated.

His one-man crusade to set up a junior section in the late nineties saved the club – period. (Matches 259, Wickets 82).

12th man – James Grigg: Looking down us, probably shaking his head.

Took his modest talent beyond it’s limits through effort and dedication.

His untimely death in 2010 in Afghanistan, aged just 21, prompted a different approach to the game of cricket at Stradbroke. (Matches 230, Wickets 126)

My top five cricketers (click on name to view their list)

Paul Summerskill, Sean Cooper, Adrian Dellar, Josh Wells, Liam Bryant, Liam Botten, Ben Shepperson, Rob Thurley, Darren Batch


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