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The Essex Cricket Society

Essex Shield

Society Prospects for the 2020-21 Season

Due to the exceptional circumstances we are experiencing, there is little chance of any Society activity over the current season and so the Society AGM, usually held before the speaker at the December meeting, will therefore be postponed indefinitely.

The current membership term will also be extended until August 2021 at no further cost.

There will be a another edition of WILLOW TALK towards the end of the year with a round-up of the final part of the 2020 cricket season, and any further update on the situation which will also be posted on this website.

Please feel free to get in touch if you wish - click here.

For anyone interested in joining, email us your details and we will contact you when the outlook improves.

Whatever happens, stay safe!

County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy 2021

The format for next years County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy has been announced, which splits all counties into three groups, seeded by final placings in the 2019 championship.

The top two of each group go into a new 'Division One', with the rest split between new 'Division Two' and 'Division Three'.  The top of the new 'Division One' will then be declared as County Champions 2021, with the top two meeting in a 5-day final to decide the Bob Willis Trophy.

For more details, visit

What do you think of the idea?   Let us know – send your comments to, and subject to the Terms and Conditions (similar to those for Tales from the Boundary) we will publish them on the website.

A Virtual Cricket Club - UPDATE 24

Simon Hughes (The Analyst) has sent us information about an initiative to create a virtual cricket club which will broadcast live streamed interviews with cricket personalities every Thursday (Wednesday from now on) at 7pm.

It is open to all; links are provided below explaining the idea and joining the club.

The latest email from Simon giving more information can be seen below.  Enjoy!

The shows can be joined here –
This short video explains the idea -

If you participate in any of the shows, let us know about your experience at  Your comments could be useful for any future events of this type.

04-05-2021: The latest email from Simon Hughes with details of the meeting with Paul Collingwood this WEDNESDAY 5th May at 7pm.

Hi all.
Just a little prod to join our virtual cricket club in aid of the Professional Cricketers Trust - the charity that supports cricketers who’ve fallen on hard times or are having difficulties.   There’s a big announcement coming out from them this week and they need all the help they can get.  The family of one recently deceased player couldn’t afford a funeral for him.  The PCT stepped in.   All the profits we make from our events goes to the charity.  We have a live guest on every week and you get to ask questions and join the community.  Its good fun.  You’ll have a laugh!

This Wednesday its Paul Collingwood - great character.  In the next few weeks we’ll have Allan Lamb, Alex Hales, Michael Vaughan, Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan.

Join us here -

Look forward to seeing you.

Cheers Simon

Ray Smith and the Second World War

23-10-2020: This is the email from Dr John Broom regarding research for his new book:

I am currently writing a book about cricket during the Second World War, to be published by Pen & Sword in June 2021.   I have read a lot about the exploits of the British Empire XI, a team captained by Ray Smith during the final years of the war.   General biographical information about Smith seems thin on the ground.  After his retirement in 1956 he seems to fade from history.

So I would like to get in touch with anyone who could tell me more about this player.  Also anyone with a good knowledge of Essex cricket during the war.   I have included information in my book about the various experiences of Ken Farnes, Brian Castor, Stan Nichols, Trevor Bailey, Dickie Dodds and Harry Crabtree.

Kind regards,

Dr John Broom

If you can help, you can contact him at

Points of View

Essex won the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy in a thrilling final at Lord's against Somerset.
The competition has been hailed a success, and it has been suggested that this format will replace the current County Championship, with some changes to relax the regional element of the three groups, and play full group home and away fixtures.

What do you think of the BWT?

Do you think it should continue?

Would you prefer to keep the traditional championship?

Let us know – send your comments to, and subject to the Terms and Conditions (similar to those for Tales from the Boundary) we will publish them on the website.

Click here to follow the discussion.

BBC Essex Sport Interviews

We have been sent a notification of some ECCC-related radio interviews that are available and may be of interest:

Vic Marks - click,
Robin Hobbs - click,
Mark Pettini - click,
Ray East - click,
Ken McEwan - click,
John Faragher (club chairman) - click,
Barry Richards - click,
Sir Alastair Cook - click,
Tom Westley - click,
Adam Wheater & Aaron Beard - click,
The Unforgettable Summer - click,
How ECCC Created History in 2019 - click

BBC Essex Sport interview catalogue - click,
BBC Essex Sport - click

Test Match Special Podcasts

Continuing the 40th anniversary celebrations of TMS, more podcasts entitled '#40from40' from the 'View from the Boundary' series of interviews have been released:
#40from40: Nish Kumar - click,
#40from40: Sebastian Faulks - click,
#40from40: Toby Jones - click,
#40from40: John Lithgow - click,
#40from40: Damian Lewis - click,
#40from40: Professor Robert Winston - click

Also, in a series entitled 'Voices of the World', interviews with well known cricket commentators are available:
Voices of the World: Jim Maxwell - click,
Voices of the World: Fazeer Mohammed - click,
Voices of the World: Prakash Wakankar - click

For all these and much more, click

'Remembering Graham Gooch's 333' is still available - click
Search the internet with the phrase graham gooch 333 forYouTube videos and other features.

Tales from the Boundary


» Do you have any cricket-related stories to tell - perhaps from your dim and distant past?

» Any fond memories of great occasions - any 'I Was There' moments that captured your imagination?

» Perhaps anecdotes of meetings with people or players that have stayed with you and have left a lasting impression?

If you have any stories you would like to share with us, please send them to,
but please check the Terms and Conditions first - they are nothing arduous I promise you!

Click here for the current list.  Also, an interview (split into two parts) with J. K. Lever:, and