The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH joined distinguished guests when he unveiled two statues representing Horsell cricketing legends, Sir Alec and Eric Bedser, at an official unveiling ceremony hosted by The Lightbox gallery and museum on Monday 8 June 2015.
The life-size bronze statues, positioned at either end of Bedser Bridge, depict a dynamic Sir Alec bowling from the town side to his twin brother, Eric, who has uncompromisingly smashed the ball for six beyond Victoria Way towards the Civic Offices. In appreciation of the shot, and with the assistance of former England player and coach, Micky Stewart, a bronze cricket ball positioned on the Civic Offices depicts where the ball landed.
Regarded as England’s greatest cricketing twins, the Bedsers who grew up in Horsell played first-class cricket for Surrey throughout their careers, while Sir Alec also represented England 51 times during the 1950s.
Before the unveiling, Sir John said: “As someone with a deep affection for the game, it gives me great pleasure to unveil these magnificent statues in honour of Alec and Eric Bedser who were – and will remain – unique.
“Through our shared love of cricket, I was lucky enough to know the twins, and to appreciate their passion for the game, as well as for golf, gardening and their family home in Woking. To think that these sporting greats nurtured their enthusiasm and knowledge of cricket just a stone’s throw from where we are today should make this town and its residents feel very proud indeed.”
Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, added: “It is with delight and honour, we welcome cricketing enthusiast, The Rt Hon Sir John Major, to officially unveil these very special bronze statues of Horsell’s finest sporting sons, Sir Alec and Eric Bedser. Throughout and beyond their cricketing careers they never forgot their roots and helped to put Woking on the map.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Keith Smith who sadly passed away earlier this year. Without his enthusiasm, drive and determination these statues would not have been possible. He would have been immensely proud to see the Bedsers immortalised and would have enjoyed this moment.
“So it is only right that these stunning bronze statues represent a fitting tribute to Sir Alec and Eric Bedser’s cricketing achievements that they will inspire future generations of young cricketers from the local area to take up the game and continue the Bedser legacy.”
To complement the official unveiling, an exhibition open to the public will be hosted by The Lightbox gallery and museum from Tuesday 9 June until Sunday 12 July. The exhibition celebrates the lives of the Bedser twins and their achievements through personal mementoes and sporting memorabilia to recordings of interviews about their rise within the game and their later roles within cricket.
In recognition of the Bedser’s cricketing achievements, the Bedser Cricket Festival, named in their honour, will be hosted by Woking & Horsell Cricket Club between Tuesday 16 and Sunday 21 June 2015. Enjoy the skills, spills and thrills of leather on willow, as we commemorate the lives of the Bedser twins with a series of youth and senior cricket matches, culminating in a fixture against Surrey County Cricket Club’s Masters XI, featuring well known cricketing faces from the recent past on Sunday 21 June.
To ensure the legacy of the Bedsers lives on, in 2013, Surrey County Cricket Club and the Surrey Cricket Board, established the Bedser Foundation to raise the profile of cricket through the development of the game specifically within Woking’s 33 schools and to identify Surrey’s next generation of cricketing stars.
The two life-size statues cast in bronze were commissioned by Woking Borough Council and designed and sculpted by national and internationally recognised sculptor, Allan Sly RA Cert. FRBS.
There were plenty of personal bests from both batsman and bowlers this Saturday, however, results at the top of the club remain disappointing. On the flip side, both fours and fives had excellent wins.
The 1stXI had a tough game at Kingstonian, however, the batting prospered after a difficult start. Malcolm Eddington and James Woods were both out cheaply but Qais Nawaz (68), Matt Lock (48) and Liam Monaghan (57*) helped build a competitive total of 238 all out. Bowling was going to be difficult though considering that Kingstonian had scored 436 the previous week. Unsurprisingly, the Kingston batsman scored quickly but a burst of three quick wickets got us back in to the game. A large fifth wicket partnership of over a hundred rescued the iniative and the hosts won the game by six wickets with a couple of overs to spare.
The 2ndXI had a disappointing defeat at home to Old Whitgiftians. With the hosts choosing to bat on a good Woking wicket, skipper Phill West brought himself on early and removed both of the openers. With the Old Whits skipper making 75 and their number five, Chatwal, making 57, wickets were at a premium until the end of the innings as the hosts declared on 231-8 dec. A decent start was important, and we got one, but wickets fell regularly after Roger White was out as batsman who were well set were dimissed with the aforementioned Chatwal taking five wickets. We were all out for 187 losing the game by 44 runs.
The 3rdXI lost to Streatham for the second consecutive week as they went down by seven wickets in South East London. A slow start to the game, involving the removal of a dog turd plus the realisation that the new ball was still in a cricket bag rather than in the opening bowler's hand, was an insight in to the slow first couple of hours of the afternoon. With Steve Wernberg out early, Skipper Tune and Andrew Statham (38) looked reasonably comfortable until Tune was bowled by his opposite number. The middle order struggled to score on a difficult, low wicket against some tight bowling. The innnings limped to 88-8 and we looked to be heading home early until a stunning innings form Mo Waseem (66) (pictured). Obviously not impressed with what he'd seen before he started despatching the bowling to all parts. He was ably aided by veteran Mandar Khedekar and between them they put on 91 for the ninth wicket. Mo's previous highest score for the club was 26. Early wickets were going to be key though and, unsurprisingly, it was Mo who made the breakthrough. Further wickets were difficult to come by and too many four balls were bowled. Mandar and Matt Allan both bowled good spells without much luck but some of our cricket towards the end became a bit ragged as we failed to take a bowling bonus point home with us.
The 4thXI gained revenge for last week's defeat by beating previously unbeaten Old Ruts at Westfield. Our three pronged pace attack of Richard Lewis, Paul Fortescue and Zohaib Shabir didn't let the Ruts batsman settle in bowling them out for 87. A little wobble at the top of our order with both openers dismissed cheaply and Ramesh running himself sowed a little bit of doubt but veteran Neil Cheetham (23*) and new boy Gef Price (39*) put on a fifty stand to see us home by seven wickets.
The 5thXI faced a difficult trip to Epsom considering it was Derby Day but the traffic appeared to concern some of our players more than the oppostiion with some staggering best ever performances for the club. George Taylor took his best ever figures for the club with 7-45 as Epsom declared on 135-9 from their 47 overs. Two quick wickets fell in our reply but a career best 70* from Ralph Lumby and a surprising 50* from Mike Walsh saw us home by eight wickets.
It may have been a difficult week for the captains due to poor availability and late drop outs but two of them took the initative to lead their teams to much needed wins.
Following two league defeats in their opening games, the 1st XI received a much needed boost as they beat Hampton Wick by seven wickets at Brewery Road. Having won the toss, the first five Hampton wickets fell cheaply with Paul Norris (pictured right), who took three of them, making early inroads. The opposition fightback began though and it wasn't until the return of fellow opening bowler Indi Fernando before we bowled them out for 162. Both of our opening batsman, Qais Nawaz and Vaibhav Bhade, were out cheaply but once Henri Peters joined skipper James Woods we began to regain the initiative. The pair put on 109 before Peters was out for 47 which only served to spur Woods into overdrive pludering runs seemingly at will finishing on 80*.
The 2nd XI also won their first league game of the season by beating Purley by six wickets. The 2nd XI game followed a very similar pattern to the 1st XI's game as we took three cheap wickets via Johnny Ayling and Nishit. Purley found themselves 56-5 but were rallied by 72 from their number seven batsman. Roger White was the key to our innings, opening the batting for the first time this season, and so it proved as he finished on 68*. The rest of the batsman battted round him and with most of them getting starts we were always able to build partnerships to edge towards the total doing so with six overs to spare.
After last week's victory, the 3rd XI game back to earth with a bump as they were well beaten by Guildford City at Westfield. Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, we soon found ourselves in trouble as we were 12-3. Wickets began to fall consistently and we were all out for 73. Mo Wassem, playing for the first time this season, took 3-21 but he was the only bowler to take any wickets as we lost by seven wickets.
The 4th XI had a crushing victory in double quick time at Sutton. At one stage this didn't look particularly likely as the Sutton third wicket partnership had realised 52 with the hosts on 62-2 but some tight bowling and two run outs mean that the last eight wickets fell for 43 runs. Skipper Tom Harlow was clearly a man in a hurry as he smashed his way to 58* from just 18 overs as we won by nine wickets.
Another tough week for the fifth eleven ended in defeat as we lost by fifty runs at home to Walton. The most pleasing aspect of the afternoon was young Jake Silverton taking 4-30 in Walton's score of 194 which unfortunately proved too many as we were all out for 144.
Saturday was another difficult day for us as the ones and twos had comprehensive defeats, the fours lost a tight game and the fives conceded their game. The only bright spot was the third eleven's victory which looked unlikely for much of the game.
The 1st XI faced Farncombe at Brewery Road and after the opposition's decent start with the bat, taking them to 42-1, Cam Oldfield, Paul Norris and James Woods took four wickets to reduce them to 52-5, however, a sixth partnership of 46 wrestled back the initiative and the visitors built their total to 142-7 before three quick wickets finished their innings on 147 all out. A good start was essential and we didn't get it with Eddington and Bhade back in the pavillion with the score on 10. James Woods (36) and Tim Keene built a useful partnership but with both of them out within five runs of each other wickets began to fall regularly as we were bowled out for 84.
The 2nd XI had another big defeat as they lost to Worcester Park by eight wickets. Having been asked to bat, we lost three quick wickets falling to 21-3. Matt Lock (40) held the innings together but with wickets falling around him there was never a likelihood of a large total and he was the last man out with the score on 96. Oli Guy's first over went for 17 and the Worcester Park total continued to rattle along as they won in the 17th over.
The third team had an unlikely win despite being 60-8 at one stage. Imran Khan (35*) and Zohaib Shabir (10) managed to build a competitve total of 110 to give us something to bowl at and bowl at it they did as the heroes with the bat were also the heroes with the ball as they both took three wickets. Matt Allan also took three cheap wickets as Old Whitgiftians were bundled out for 79 giving us a 31 run win.
The 4th XI, playing on the main pitch at Ashford, a ground that many W&H player knows how to get to now, were beaten by two wickets. It was a tough defeat to take, however, it was deserved given the number of chances dropped. As with other teams, the 4th XI top order struggled but Simon Nixon's maiden W&H fifty took us up to 164, a reasonable total but not ungettable on Ashford's ground and so it proved with the hosts edging home.
Woking and Horsell CC are delighted to announce that Global Travel Management have extended their current sponsorship with the club and will be our headline sponsor for the Bedser Cricket Festival. We are very grateful to them for their continued support.
The 4th XI (pictured) were the only team to taste success this Saturday as the Ryman Surrey Championship began in earnest. They began their campaign in the newly formed Divsion 1, following last year's relgation, with a five wicket win over Purley at Westfield. As with last week's performance, some tight bowling made scoring difficult and Purley were soon in trouble with the wickets shared around, although Zohaib Shabir's figures of 3-10 from his nine overs stood out. A couple of decent innings was all that the reply required and thanks to Ramesh Parthasarathy (38) and Simon Nixon (21) we eased home by 5 wickets.
The 1stXI had a tough game against local rivals Guildford City who, despite finishing in the top two last season in Divison 4, were denied promotion due to ground issues.
Unfortunately, last week's opening stand wasn't repeated and Malcolm Eddington (0) and Vaibhav Bhade (8) were soon dismissed. This did give skipper James Woods the chance to get to the crease early which he took with a beautifully compiled 76. He was aided by Tim Keene (36). The statutory Woking collapse reared its ugly head again and from a relatively stable position of 156-4 we were all out for 182 having failed to use up five of our alloted overs.
A third wicket partnership of 80 put pay to any hopes of victory as we went down by five wickets.
Having been promoted last season, this year is likely to prove to be more difficult for the second eleven and that was certainly the case as tthe day began disastrously when last week's hero, James Williams, was out to the first ball of the match for zero. Things didn't get much better as we slumped to 27-7. John Wolff (30), who had watched the ensuing carnage from the other end, put up some resistance and with some help from the lower order of Arun Aiyer (28), Phill West (11) and some solid hitting from last man Oli Guy (18*) we cobbled together a total of 109. Batting looked easier in the second innings with the sun out and the wind drying the wicket and the Dulwich openers began comfortably. Roger White bagged two quick wickets but we were always struggling and we lost the game by six wickets.
The third eleven will have to improve on last year's end of season form and defeat by 80 runs to 2014 fellow strugglers Purley is not the start to the season that Nick Tune's men were looking for.
It wasn't the simplest of weeks for Dave Lane as he spent plenty of it trying to find a team (get your availability in early please gentlemen) and Saturday wasn't much better as we were well beaten by Egham. Following some good bowling from our opening pair the rest of the attack struggled to contain the Egham batsman as they made a large total of 234-6. Wickets fell steadily throughout our innnings and despite 24 from the reliable Rajesh Rao we were all out for 79.