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Haringey and Black cricketers
Discussion started by hawke , 20 March, 2013 20:26
Haringey and Black cricketers
hawke 20 March, 2013 20:26
I posted this article on the Corridor of Uncertainty just over a year ago. Ive not re-read it in a while but I think I edited it after some comments by other posters. Once again you may be able to contradict me and very likely add fresh information. All my research was on the internet and there will undoubtedly be gaps die to a lack of local knowledge.

Hackney’s neighbouring northern authority is Haringey, a council district which has received much negative publicity over the years and where, of course, the infamous riots of 2011 began. It is a district, like Tower Hamlets and Hackney, where cricket has not been strong – notably in the east of the borough - and where various national and local cricketing initiatives have also been introduced.

It is also where a particular initiative to develop inner–city, mainly Black, cricketers was established at Haringey College in Tottenham. 20% of the population in Haringey are Black (compared to 7% Asian) and they mostly live in the eastern part of Haringey in such areas as Tottenham.

This brings up the whole question of English Black cricketers and the following is a list I have compiled of ‘home’ produced Black players who ‘established’ themselves in county cricket on the criteria of having made at least fifty appearances for a county.

In chronological order of county debuts it is:- Roland Butcher (1974), Monte Lynch (1977), Wilf Slack (1977), Gladstone Small (1979), Norman Cowans(1980), David Lawrence (1981), Neil Williams (1982), Devon Malcolm (1984), Phil DeFreitas (1985), Mark Alleyne (1986), Joey Benjamin (1986), Daren Foster (1986), Chris Lewis (1987), Steve Bastien (1988), Frank Griffith (Derbyshire), Keith Piper (1989), Carlos Remy (1989), Paul Weekes (1990), Dean Headley (1991), Mark Butcher (1991), Robert Rollins (1992), Adrian Rollins (1993), Alex Tudor (1995), Carl Greenidge (1998), Steve Bastien (1988), David Alleyne (1999), Ricky Anderson (1999), Robbie Joseph (2000, Michael Carberry (2001)and Keith Barker (2009).

Two matters come to mind. Firstly, the rise and fall in numbers of Black English cricketers both at county and international level. 4 made their first-class debuts in the seventies, 14 in the eighties, 7 in the nineties and just 3 in the first decade of the new century. No Black cricketer has represented this country since Mark Butcher in 2004 and before that Alex Tudor in November 2002. This despite the fact that a high proportion of the players mentioned have played for England in either Test or international cricket, that is thirteen of the nineteen - including all the first nine.

The second matter, and one which I had not previously realised, is that most of the first Black ’English’ cricketers were born in the West Indies and came to this country with their families as children and in some cases as teenagers. In other words they all very likely gained an enthusiasm for the game and early skills in the Caribbean, namely Butcher, Lynch, Slack, Small, Cowans, Williams, Malcolm, DeFreitas and Benjamin, a remarkable nine of the first ten. And yes they all went on to represent England.

David Lawrence, born in Gloucester, was the first UK born and bred Black player followed by Mark Alleyne from Tottenham. Both played for England. Paul Weekes from neighbouring Hackney is a second Middlesex product but unlike Alleyne, who played for Gloucestershire, he established himself for his native county. He did not represent England but was an excellent county cricketer.

Some of the players, Headley, Butcher, Greenidge and Barker, had very strong family connections with the first-class game (Barker's father was a West Indian league pro in Lancashire and a half-brother trailled with Lancs), whilst another, Joseph, came here from the West Indies as a teenager on a cricket scholarship. So it is difficult to describe them as 'ordinary' cricketers emerging from the community. So that since Paul Weekes made his debut for Middlesex in 1990 only Alex Tudor and Michael Carberry can be said to have appeared from the UK’s Black population to make a living out of first-class cricket.

Keith Barker, who is a footballing/cricketing all-rounder, is an interesting case as he was a junior with Blackburn Rovers and signed for Warwickshire after it was clear he would not make a career in the higher levels of soccer. His family have strong cricket connections and he is god-son of Clive Lloyd (indeed a middle name is Hubert). He ended last season strongly taking 8 wickets and scoring 85 against Yorkshire at Leeds.

The many reasons for this lack of Black English cricketers have been aired many times. The major factor is arguably one which affects all races in this country, the lack of facilities in so many urban areas. How many White English cricketers for instance have emerged from the inner-city? Cricket requires coaching and facilities as is confirmed by the high number of cricketers who have emerged from the Public Schools.

Black participation in local league cricket is generally recognised to have declined over the years so that some clubs which used to have a predominantly African-Caribbean membership now see their junior ranks filled with Asian youngsters. I saw this at Leyton for instance when I de-toured into Essex. Many inner-city youngsters play sport but of course it is usually soccer and it has probably gained participants at the expense of other sports.

But what have the cricket authorities doing about this? In Haringey there was one special initiative which began in the nineteen eighties as Haringey Cricket College in Tottenham. The list of Black first–class cricketers who ‘graduated’ from Haringey is very impressive and reads Mark Alleyne, Steve Bastien, Frank Griffith (of Leyton), Keith Piper and the Rollins brothers.

Mark Alleyne, who is now MCC Head Coach and Chairman of the Professional Cricket Coaches Association, is undoubtedly the most impressive graduate. He captained Gloucestershire - leading them to four one-day titles - and then became county coach, represented England in international cricket and after leaving Gloucester coached at the National Performance Centre at Loughborough - including running the England under 15s. In 2004 his outstanding work was recognised with the award of an MBE.

The background to the formation of Haringey Cricket College was revealed in an article in ‘The Independent’ in 1997 which explained, “ It was the inspiration of a local councillor who recognised the wasted potential of the youngsters he saw from the top deck of the bus on the way to work, playing unsupervised games in parks. The project finally became a victim of rate-capping, but the college survived under the umbrella of the London Community Trust, and last year became a registered company with charitable status. More recently, the future has been secured by a donation from the Grand Metropolitan Charitable Trust.”

Keith Waring, then director of training, was determined that the students studied hard for their NVQs because they were seen as the ‘insurance policy’ should they not make it as players. He was quoted in the article as saying, "Let's face it, most of them don't get county jobs. But if they work hard they will all get jobs of some kind in cricket. We've even got two of our boys working in township schemes in South Africa."

However, funding ran out in 2000 and the project came to an end, the cricket writer Scyld Berry believing this to be the single most important reason behind the decline in African-Caribbean representation in county cricket.

Thankfully, the scheme has recently been revived with much of the money coming from the Wilf Slack Trust, a charity set up after the Middlesex and England left-hander collapsed while batting and died, aged 34, in 1989. However, it is in a different guise and now goes by the name of ‘Grass Roots Academy’. It is no longer based at Haringey but at The Oval.

The revived Academy states plainly on its website, “We aim to provide a cricket based academy targeted directly at school leavers and under-privileged young people providing specialist cricket coaching and education. The academy is geared towards secondary school and college students between the ages of 14 and 21, which falls in line with the current social situation we have at present with the problems of guns and knife crime dominating the headlines. We aim to provide another option for young people setting the highest standards for education, lifestyle and cricketing excellence.”

The Academy has also bullet pointed five main aims:-

1. To produce high quality cricketers and model professionals for the game to serve as future role models
2. Stimulate passion for the sport of cricket
3. Empower inner city youth through cricket
(targetting inner city areas through cricket)
4. Provide the necessary structure for personal and professional success
5. Help to produce international cricketers

The team played a dozen fixtures last season against such opponents as the Northants Academy, MCC young Cricketers and the Isle of Wight Academy. A photograph of the side show 5 Black, 2 Asian and 6 White young cricketers. Carl Greenidge is one of the four coaches. Good luck to them.

If the ‘Grass Roots Academy’ can be as successful as the ‘Haringey Cricket Academy’ then marvellous but meanwhile there is a gap up in Haringey itself and though I see there are moves to introduce a secondary schools cricket league there and Charlotte Edwards MBE, the England womens cricket captain, visited a summer holiday sports camp on the Broadwater Farm estate – under the banner of ‘Chance to Shine’, there is still precious little cricket played in the east of the borough.

Camp leader John Sullivan said bluntly: "A lot of the areas we coach in are football orientated – it's hard to set up new initiatives especially as cricket is stereotyped as a middle class sport. 24 out of the 27 children here don't know what cricket is."
Broadwater Farm is home to an award-winning football team coached by youth and sports development leader Clasford Stirling MBE and he said tellingly: "Cricket doesn't exist on this side of the borough. We need to bring back cricket greens and cricket teams in boroughs and schools. How do we know if we've good cricketers if there is no chance for them to play?”

But there are some new ideas and there is fresh funding for according to ‘Haringey Sports Initiative’ - under a programme run by the ‘Chance to Shine’ and also the ‘Cricket for Change’ organisations in 2010 -, “ 15 schools around the Broadwater Farm area are to receive a total of more than 500 hours of top-quality free cricket coaching this summer term and for the next three years!”

The report continued, “This is linked to developing free community club coaching sessions on Wednesday evenings at the Broadwater Farm Sports Centre which will link to the cricket clubs based in the Hornsey area of Haringey where the best and most talented players will be able to further their progress.

The fifteen schools are getting a mixture of curriculum and after-school coaching to give more and more youngsters the opportunity to try cricket and to encourage them to take up the sport “.

Vice Principal and Partnership Development Manager, Dave Thomas reports: “ We are very excited about this Cricket Programme. The talent amongst the young people in Haringey is enormous and this will give them the chance to develop that talent and to progress to county level and beyond just like former Haringey pupils have done in the past. The partnership between the schools, cricket clubs, Broadwater Farm and the Middlesex Development team is one which really should produce results.”

Here is hoping they can instill enthusiasm and skills, provide links with established cricket clubs and regenerate cricket in this locality.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Beeamazed 20 March, 2013 20:34
Top article Sir

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
chunkyinargyll 20 March, 2013 20:39
Hawke- One name missing is David Burton.

Admitedly he didn't really make it, and is only 27.

I thought he had Tottenham connections, but Cricinfo says born Stockwell.

Played for a number of county second elevens, as well as first class for Glos, Middle, and Northants.

I think the general view was fast but wayward.

Think he has now ended his first class ambitions.

Edit- Sorry I can see you set a criteria of at least 50 first class appearences- and Burton got nowhere near that. Without checking I'm not sure if it was even double figures.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/03/2013 20:43 by chunkyinargyll.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Jonathan Winsky 20 March, 2013 21:25
It is great that efforts are being made to use cricket to encourage young black people to fulfil their potential. It reminds me of Street League (of which I have been part over the last seven weeks), who use football as a means to get people aged 15-24 into employment, although cricket is just as an effective way to achieve that.

The drought of no black players representing since England since 2004 was briefly broken when Michael Carberry played a Test v Bangladesh in 2010, although sadly he is a one-Test wonder.

Two black players who are tipped to push for England honours in the future are Tymal Mills of Essex and Daniel Bell-Drummond of Kent, while it is hoped Maurice Chambers of Essex and George Edwards of Surrey will be regulars for their county over the next decade.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
chunkyinargyll 20 March, 2013 21:31
...Not to mention Mervyn westfield.

I said not to mention him.


Bell-Drummond is definately one to watch.

Fully expect him to progress to full England recgntion in the next 3 to 5 years.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Beeamazed 20 March, 2013 22:00
I had the pleasure of meeting Reg Scarlett the "Godfather" of the cricket college.
A charming and dedicated man without whom none of this would have been possible.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
derekgiftsimms 16 February, 2020 08:53
I have to read this in it entirety but looking at the 'chronological' list I lost interest when I did not see the name of DENNIS MARRIOTT - SURREY, MIDDLESEX, SURREY. 1966 !!!


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 16/02/2020 23:58 by derekgiftsimms.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 16 February, 2020 11:32
A true Middlesex legend, albeit not for very long, Dennis was I believe a chiropodist by profession, who ironically spent the latter part of his life confined to a wheelchair.
A left-arm seamer, with a whippy action he had an extraordinary JPL season in 1973 when he took 5 wickets in an innings on four separate occasions,
Thank you, Derek, for reviving a seven-year-old thread which brought back so many happy memories.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
freddie tittlemouse 17 February, 2020 15:25
Middlesex and its immediate catchment area must have one of the largest black populations in the country. At one time we probably had 4 British black players in the team - Butcher Slack Williams Cowans, but now I can't remember our last home grown black player. This reflects a social environment in which black youths and young men simply aren't attracted to cricket any more - a great pity.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 17 February, 2020 17:48
One of the reasons that the 3rd and 4th generation Afro-Caribbean youngsters are not attracted to the game is the decline of the Windies national team, compared with their supremacy of thirty and forty years ago and the lack of inspirational figures to encourage their participation.
The main reason, however, is the lack of opportunities in the professional game combined with the limited financial rewards available except for those few that reach the very top of the game.
When a teenage soccer player can earn as much in a week in the higher divisions either in England or abroad then he can by playing county cricket then the choice is simple.
The talent is still there but the lack of incentive, unfortunately, is not.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
adelaide 17 February, 2020 19:23

The main obstacles are exactly the same as those faced by any child growing up in the same environment, including the absence of organised cricket at most state schools. The result is that county cricket remains dominated by products of private education; it may even have got more so over the last two or three decades.

Of course for most boys, there is no simple choice between football or cricket, because most have not got an earthly of making a living doing either!


Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 17 February, 2020 20:30
This has undoubtedly been the situation for some time, Adelaide. The point L was making is that there are other reasons why black kids specifically have rejected cricket as a career option.
I do some coaching of children of all backgrounds in an inner-city area and those of Asian origins, of course, demonstrate the most enthusiasm, however, kids of white and West Indian heritage want to play too and show an equal aptitude for the game.
The hope is that initiatives such as 'The Hundred' will re-ignite interest amongst the young and encourage their participation at all levels. I frankly find the dismissive attitude to this new competition by the traditionalists, and hopes for its failure on this forum and elsewhere very disappointing and backward thinking.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 17/02/2020 20:46 by Gezza of the middle.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 17 February, 2020 21:31

I believe David Alleyne was the last British -born black player to play for The Middle.
He deserves special credit as someone who emerged from a difficult background to reach the heights of county cricket. An exciting batsman on his day he eventually became disillusioned with the English game and ended up leaving the country with his family to take up a coaching career.
I, ve just remembered Scott Newman who was of mixed-race and another who is pursuing a coaching career. There must be others I've forgotten about.
Of the four you mentioned Freddie, all, of course, played for England, and whilst Wilf and Neil died tragically young. Butch became a distinguished coach and administrator back in the West Indies.
When I spoke with Flash recently in Southampton he was running an events company. as well as doing some work as a DJ.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 19/02/2020 00:59 by Gezza of the middle.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
adelaide 17 February, 2020 21:57

You are Colin Graves and I claim my £5...

The format of the Hundred is neither here nor there. It is not that different from T20. The problem with it is twofold. First, it sidelines the counties. Secondly, it is having resources thrown at it that could be used elsewhere (e g on refreshing the county T20 game, or greater grass roots support for coaching). The combination of those two provides a real threat to some of the counties, which would result in fewer jobs for players of any colour in professional cricket.

It is a moot point whether the risk to the counties is greater if it succeeds ("who needs the counties?") or fails ("no money to support the counties"). I think the risk is greater if it fails, as money down the drain just cannot be recovered. So I do not want it to fail, though I fear it may do so. I would much rather it had not happened at all, because I cannot see a good outcome either way.

My train of thought is, I think, grimly realistic rather than backward looking and I don't think you do yourself much service by characterising it as such. We had enough characterisation of opponents during the Brexit debate, thank you very much.


Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 18 February, 2020 01:39

Do you mean to tell me you are not salivating at the prospect of the forthcoming titanic clash between The Spirit and The Invincibles?
Believe me, I'm no friend of Mr. Graves. we 've clashed in the past when I have dared to disagree with his views.
No one is a greater supporter of county cricket than myself, as many on this board will testify.i've spent most days of the last 60 summers watching it religiously all over the country.
Nothing would please me more than return to one division.34 three day matches for all counties and the abolition of bonus points. I am one of the dinosaurs too, but I know it ain't gonna happen.
As for the demise of the shire counties I've been hearing that for years, I think the last one to lose their first-class status was Cambridgeshire in about 1867. Are not The ECB giving them all over a million quid each to keep them going?
When they introduced 65 over games back in the day, then 50 overs,40 overs, then 20 the end of civilization as we know it was forecast by many,it never happened.
I do understand that franchise cricket, made- up sides, drastic changes in the playing conditions may be anathema to many, but I prefer to remain optimistic that it will catch on, attract a new audience and eventually benefit and enrich the game.
I respect the views of others but choose to differ on this occasion, and certainly do not want to get into a debate on the subject.Let's wait and see,

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
adelaide 18 February, 2020 09:45

The million quid is a short term thing. There is no commitment for it to continue and even if there were it could only continue if the competition was making a large profit. It is what happens three years or so down the line that counts.

There is also the thought that as this all could have been done without franchises, why is it being done that way if not to undermine the counties? No doubt Graves's Yorkshire will survive though, so that's OK then.

You are right about prophets of doom at each change. There is an irony in people defending the T20 competition when they saw it as the end of the world when it came in. Trouble is, Jeremiahs are no more likely to be wrong all the time than Pollyannas and this change is much more risky than any previous one.


Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
New Boy 2 18 February, 2020 10:21
Gezza of the middle
I frankly find the dismissive attitude to this new competition by the traditionalists, and hopes for its failure on this forum and elsewhere very disappointing and backward thinking.

I suspect this discussion has gravitated to the wrong thread, nonetheless if insisting on six balls to an over is backward thinking then I am happy to be considered a traditionalist.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
adelaide 18 February, 2020 10:32
Yes it has. Partly (mainly?) my fault but it wasn't me that brought it up by describing the Hundred's opponents as indulging in disappointing and backward thinking. Do that and expect a reaction, whatever thread it is on!


Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 18 February, 2020 11:21
They should have called it ''The eight-ball'' and then we could have had 8 twelve ball overs, with each bowler limited to just one each. Much more fun. Traditionalist was not intended as a slur in any way,
L number myself very much as one of the last of the dinosaurs.
I would have thought a discussion on any thread of this forum would be welcome, never seems to occur very often.
I would be very happy to return to the original subject.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 18/02/2020 11:25 by Gezza of the middle.

Re: Haringey and Black cricketers
Gezza, 18 February, 2020 12:05
Does anyone remember Shane Julien? He came over to England originally to continue his education, and played with some success for our 2nd XI in 1977, with the intention of eventually qualifying to play county cricket. A hugely talented young batsman, he never progressed and returned to the West Indies where he played for The Windwards and The Leewards.
Another who came to a tragic end. He took his own life when still young.

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