Isis celebrated their thirtieth anniversary in style when 35 past and present players converged at Queen’s College Sportsground for a special day in the club’s history. The event was conceived of in a pre-season committee meeting and months of preparation really paid off, with near-flawless execution.
The day started when Chairman Keith Whiter welcomed the players and their families over a traditional stiff glass or Pimms, and introduced VIP guest Shaz Khan, the ECB Coach of the Year, who opened the proceedings. President Keith Ponsford introduced every member of his past players before the teams took to the field. Umpires on the day were Alan Powis, a founder member who actually named the club, and Dale Jacobs who was sadly sporting a broken arm and was therefore unable to play. In Superbowl style, Shaz Khan bowled the opening ball of the match and the game proper started with the President’s XVI batting first and founder member Pete Wiblin opening with his old mate Mark Goddard, resplendent in flat cap. Frankly, the cricket itself was of no consequence, but for the record Julian Francis top-scored with 27 n.o as the old boys posted a respectable 154 from their 35 overs.
The tea interval saw all present enjoy an incredible buffet spread and afterwards corks popped as Keith Whiter toasted the club over a glass or two of fizz. A superb 44-page commemorative magazine, edited by Nick Wyatt and Dave Penhalurick was distributed to all present, and special plaques were presented to recently-turned-60 Pete Wiblin, and mine hosts Martin and Shirley Cross for the fantastic service they have given to Isis Cricket Club over the years. It was a bit of an effort to grace the field after all that, but the old boys gamely took to the field as the younger men of Isis set about their task. As it happens they paced it really well to pass the target with 9 balls to spare, Mo Naqvi and Paul Jacobs top-scoring. At the end of the day there had been 30 bowlers and 26 batsmen and regardless of the result it had been bloody good fun. The players retired to a couple of pints and M.V.P, and duffer trophies were presented to Brad Harden, Julian Francis, Simon Godby and one other (it was all a blur by then).
The throng then hot-footed it up the road to the St Aldates Tavern, who were excellent hosts once they had de-stressed, managed to seat everybody in The Blue Room, and put a plate of food in front of them all. Tales were told and beer flowed until closing time before a splinter-group of revelers finished the day quaffing shots and supping ales at the roof-top bar of The Varsity.
It really had been a terrific day, and I hope that everybody present enjoyed the occasion as much as I did I would like to thank my fellow committee members for all of their hard work to make the day so successful and congratulate them all on a job done really well.