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Clergy cricketers play on, undaunted by fewer players and summer rain

21 July 2023

Robert Stanier

Clergy cricketers at the Falkland Cricket Club, on 26 June

Clergy cricketers at the Falkland Cricket Club, on 26 June

IT HAS been a tough few years for clergy cricket. A combination of the Covid pandemic and a decreasing number of clergy who play the game has made it difficult to arrange Church Times Cup fixtures. Into the breach — in the south, at least — has stepped Jane Inglis, an enterprising parishioner of St John’s, Southbourne, in Chichester diocese.

By her arrangement, a clergy match was organised at Falkland Cricket Club, near Newbury, on Monday 26 June; it featured a cluster of cricketers from southern dioceses: Southwark, Winchester, Chichester, and Oxford.

As it played out, there were eight Southwark cricketers and nine Oxford cricketers, augmented by colleagues from Winchester and Chichester, who were split across the two sides to make two broadly even teams of XI.

Southwark and friends batted first, and were delighted to field a magnificent father-son opening pairing. The Revd Tom Moffatt, who won the Church Times Cup with Southwark in 1975, opened the batting with the Revd Joe Moffatt, previously a regular with London, but newly moved to Southwark. With a combined age of 128, they put on 36, before Moffatt Senior fell to the accurate Glenny (Oxford). Moffatt Junior continued on to make 50, and there was some lusty striking from Scrivener (Chichester) down the order to allow Southwark and friends to post 186 for 8.

At the start of the reply, Marshall (Chichester) produced a snorting delivery to remove the dangerous Kemp (Chichester) second ball; but, after that, King (Winchester) and Murray (Oxford) put on 87 to set Oxford and friends on their way. The medium pace of McKinnel (Winchester), and Scrivener’s crafty leg spin, induced a flurry of wickets in the middle order. At 140 for 6, it was anybody’s game, only for the clean-striking Harris to see Oxford and friends home and dry with three overs to spare, finishing on 190 for 6.

The vision is for this date (the fourth Monday in June, so Monday 24 June next year) to be held for 2024, and, since there are two cricket pitches at Falkland Cricket Club, it could be that a mini-T20 tournament could be held there. Interested participants should contact Jane Inglis: jane@inglis3.org.


Interfaith match.

Diocese of BlackburnAndi Oliver with the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Philip North, and clergy and imams, at the Belvedere and Calder Vale Sports Club, in Burnley, last weekend’s match

Andi Oliver, the host of BBC2’s The Great British Menu, joined Christian and Muslim cricketers at Belvedere and Calder Vale Sports Club in Burnley, last weekend, to film the latest match between the diocese of Blackburn and the Lancashire Council of Mosques, writes a staff reporter. Heavy rain stopped play, but the match has been rescheduled for 28 July. Ms Oliver said: “It’s been so beautiful to be here in Lancashire to see people celebrating difference, supporting each other, and understanding each other’s communities. I’m a big fan of cricket teas; we used to make cricket teas all the time when I was a kid. Cricket, and sport generally, brings people together, but it’s the intention that’s important; and the intention of this match is community cohesion and genuine friendship.”

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