Nick Sumpton’s Column: Tony will be sorely missed

Nick Sumpton
Nick Sumpton

It comes with great regret that I am opening my column this week with some sad news.

Tony Jack, our long serving scorer, has passed away aged 56. He gave over forty years service to the club and was present for all five National Championships finals that Scarborough were victorious in.

As thanks to his service, Tony had already been made a vice-president by the club and his love for cricket at Scarborough and the Yorkshire CricketLeague was evident to everyone.

He was also an incredibly good scorer, very meticulous and made sure every detail was recorded.

I once filled in last minute to score for the 1st XI when I was younger and had to score in the back of the book as not to put an inconsistency into his work.

That was testament to the job he did, he did it with pride and tremendous passion. He had it recorded somewhere if you’d dropped a catch, and he’d have let you know about it in the bar afterwards too.

I send mine, and the whole of Scarborough CC’s sincere condolences to his wife Pauline, his family and friends. He will be missed as a man, a scorer and a club-man by everyone.

Having captained a side before, I know how important and how hard to come by a scorer is, never mind one of Tony’s calibre. I’m sure Andrew Simpson, Piet Rinke, Darren Harland and any other captain, was helped no end by Tony’s presence, week in and out.

The messages which the club have received via the club’s social media channels have underlined how loved Tony was, with messages coming from all over England and some from Australia.

All Scarborough teams were due to observe a minute’s silence before their games this weekend, as were all Yorkshire League games, but rain has delayed that mark of respect, for the Scarborough sides at least until next week.

Persistent rain towards the back end of the week has meant that we have now lost 14 games from a possible 29 across all three senior teams.

It’s been an incredible season, and not in a positive way. It is becoming increasing frustrating to be sat at home on a Saturday afternoon and not out in the middle. I’m sure it’s the same for anyone out there who isn’t getting a game in on a regular basis.

Andrew Simpson’s side were hoping to get some momentum after beating Appleby Frodingham last weekend but with such a bit-part season there is no chance of gaining any momentum at all.

Batsmen haven’t had chance to get time in the middle and runs under their belts while bowlers haven’t been able to get overs in their legs. Then once you come playing again, it’s like starting from scratch.

It’s been three Saturdays in a row now without action for the 2nd XI who last played against Duncombe Park on the second of this month.

By the time the next fixture comes around next week at Ripon it will have been 27 days since the last time Bob Carver’s side took to the field.

I was in charge for the game at Duncombe Park and it must be even more annoying for Bob to keep getting his debut in charge of the 2nd XI put off by the weather.

The 3rd XI are due to play Wykeham 2nds next week, which will be the first game of the second half of thecampaign for them. They are half way through the season and it barely feels like it has even start yet!

Rain further affected cricket at Scarborough this weekend as the top of the table clash between Yorkshire Carnegie and Nottinghamshire Outlaws t20 game was washed out with only 14 overs possible.

A decent crowd had gathered despite the poor weather and it was a disappointment to the players, spectators and the club that we couldn’t get a complete game in.

England were able to get a full game in at Trent Bridge in the one off t20 match and they came out victorious chasing down a competitive 172 set by an experienced t20 side.

Alex Hales, Kevin Pietersen’s replacement at the top of the order, made a superb 99 to lead the reply.

He was dismissed one short of a landmark ton, but he did his job, and the lad looked heartbroken on the bench after he had trudged off.

He might have fallen one short of being England’s first t20 centurion but his knock enabled England to win the game, and that’s the main thing.

With Ian Bell’s start and Hales knock this weekend, people will already be forgetting about KP.

This week has also seen spot fixing return to the news as Danish Kaneria was found guilty of spot fixing along with Mervyn Westfield while they played cricket together at Essex.

While Kaneria has been banned indefinitely from any cricket under jurisdiction of the ECB, ICC rules state that if one board finds a player guilty of such and offence, other cricket boards must uphold that sanction.

So basically that means Kaneria’s cricket career (at any level) is over.

Westfield on the other hand has been banned for five years, but may return to club cricket after three of those five years. While the report from court said that this was due to the offences taking place in 2009 and not 2012.

Had this happened now, he would have been banned for nine years due to the increased awareness around the issue and more stringent procedures to eradicate this from the game.

They also took into account Westfield being young and pressured by a senior player in Kaneria.

While I can see where they are coming from with the punishment of Westfield, he was still 21 years old. He still knew right from wrong. He still knew what he was doing was bringing the game into disrepute.

Furthermore he must have known that he was duping his team mates, the supporters and his club? The few quick pounds he may have made from making sure his over went for a minimum amount of runs will not have come close to the living he could have made over a career in the game.

It seems incredible to me that anyone of a young age like Westfield or Mohammed Amir would get involved with this.

The sad facts are though that since I started watching cricket, there has been something going on that has been untoward. My first memories of match fixing or spot fixing go back to Hansie Cronje.

Although there was a patch in between then and the Pakistani’s getting caught out in 2010 where nothing happened in this regard, it must have been going on.

That suggests it’s always going to be around, and games are going to be tarnished by individuals trying to make some quick cash.

It’s a well known phrase and one that’s often not used in relation to cricket but “it’s just not cricket” couldn’t be a more apt cliché.

This weekend the 1st XI take on Rotherham Town at North Marine Road, while the 2nd XI face a long trip to Ripon.

The 3rd XI host Wykeham 2nds at Scarborough College.