Getting to Know... Penkridge CC

 

Kev Baker - writer of this literary genius / rambling nonsense (delete as applicable). Son of the tea lady, brother of the 4th team captain, Dad of young bowler Josh. Wicket keeper batsman, attempting to still play properly in order to avoid having to grow up and mow the lawns on a Saturday despite old age, lack of ability, dodgy knees and a missing colon (removed in surgery during 2015, not an observation on the punctuation of this blog).... @bakes1970

Laeq Chishti - first team captain, aggressive batsman and very good skiddy bowler - hopefully fit enough to bowl this season after Achilles tendon injury at the end of 2015 season. Possibly the world's worst footballer having seen him in our warm ups... @Laeq238

Attiq Chishti - quality all rounder, ex Staffordshire and Unicorns. One of the best cricketers I've played with at club level, selected in preliminary England Squad for the Indoor World Cup to be held in Dubai in September.

Shafiq Ahmed - quality bearded off spinning all rounder, think Moeen Ali with a dodgy knee! Also named in preliminary England Squad for Indoor World Cup later this year. Great finisher in pre-match football, Paul Lambert and Wolves must surely be considering offering him a contract for next season.... @shafski

Rana Hassan - "Ronnie". Frighteningly consistent batsman, makes things look so easy at times. Over 1100 league runs in our Birmingham League Division Three title winning season, played for Pakistan representative teams in his youth.

Matt Jenkinson - Second team captain this season. Good all rounder, top bloke, owner of an average beard (only kidding...). One of my best mates through cricket - gave him his first team debut when I was captain at Rugeley, now he'll be captaining me this season. Worryingly, I'm old enough to have opened the batting with his Dad.... @jenko_m

Rich James - Quiet, shy, retiring...... or completely the opposite! Always first on the dance floor at the club dinner, which is usually highly entertaining! Second team vice captain, good batsman and slow bowler who occasionally turns one if he hits something on the wicket.... Good junior coach and has done an excellent job as Sunday captain over the last few seasons.

Liam Kettle - This season's third team captain. Good batsman and useful slow bowler. Once nicknamed "Ronseal" after leaving his coat at Edgbaston, when he was believed to have said "I've got to get it back, I've only got one coat..." This may just be folklore, but it makes a good story!

Steve Jones - "Scooby". Third team vice-captain having skippered the side for most of last season after injury to Rob Lawrence. Possesses a cover drive of sheer beauty (when he connects), and the throwing arm of a five year old child. To "Scoob" someone has entered club legend - play five balls of the over back before pinching a single off the last ball of the over, to cries of Scoooooob from the boundary (in the style of Joe Rooooooot, which is where the simlarity ends!).

Rob Baker - "Boz". My younger brother, 4th team captain, occasional 1st or 2nd team scorer or tea assistant. Definitely one of the best three cricketers still playing in our family. Architect of premature declarations in the 4th team, declaring last year when an opposition bowler was on a hat trick - in his defence, the opposition had taken three hours to bowl 30 overs at that point, no-one was padded up, tea was ready and England were playing in Euro 2016 that night (although with hindsight, that would've been best missed). Used to be a bowler who batted, now a batsmen who bowls if he has to. Keeps wicket occasionally, claiming it can't be that difficult as I've managed to do it for so long..... @bozbaker

Gary Pope - "Popey". Club captain, originally from Western Australia and has the general disposition of a grumpier version of Glenn McGrath when bowling. Batting style generally involves trying to hit everything into the next county whilst on one knee. Broke my toe when I batted against him for the first time before I moved to Penkridge!

Kath Baker - "Mrs B". My Mum, vertically challenged producer of barely adequate cricket teas for the last 40 odd years. Unbelievably won a NatWest OSCA from Staffordshire Cricket a few years ago for her efforts. Finally accepted last year that beetroot forms a vital part of cricket teas after pressure in this blog. Either that, or the jar had been put on a shelf she could actually reach. Likely to clip anyone round the ear for trying to pinch anything off the tea table before the tea interval. Unless it's grandson Josh, in which case such thieving behaviour is considered perfectly acceptable....

Jon Price - "Spike". Club Chairman and Secretary, ran the Stafford half marathon to raise funds for the club in 2016. May still be re-hydrating! All rounder in the second team (he'll love that....), no-nonsense approach to batting, generally trying to hit the ball as hard as possible in an arc between third man and backward square leg with largely the same shot.

Nick Giles - Second team umpire and one of our groundsmen. Woe betide anyone messing up his outfield! Has passed more umpiring exams this winter, leading to unconfirmed reports that he will actually know the rules now.... One thing is foir certain, he'll give Gary Pope out LBW and wide his bowling on a regular basis

Josh Baker - My son, good bowler, stubborn and apparently never wrong about anything - not sure where he gets those last two traits from.... Hoping to play a full season this year after a succession of injuries over the last two seasons - broken foot three times, nose once and dislocated finger twice which leads me to think his bones are made from poppadums. Definitely one of the two best cricketers still playing the game regularly that live in our house, mainly because the dog can't bat, the cat can't bowl and Abby can't catch.... @Josh_bak3r