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M.J.K.Smith: No Ordinary Man: No. 30 (Lives in Cricket)

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It was followed by an online event celebrating the life of Peter Wynne-Thomas, our esteemed former Honorary Secretary, who died in July after a short illness. Representatives of Nottinghamshire CCC as well as ACS members shared their memories of Peter and paid tribute to his work. This event can be viewed in an MP4 file (lasting just over an hour) here. 21 July 2021 If a measure of a captain is getting the best out of players, then MJK Smith has few equals. A fine batsman, who scored more than 30,000 runs for the Bears, MJK’s leadership and man-management skills were legendary, whether deployed for his county or in 25 Tests as captain of his country.

We are seeking members’ thoughts on what the ACS might do to mark the 250th anniversary, in June 2022, of the match regarded as the first-ever ‘great’ or first-class match. The Broadhalfpenny Down Association is already making plans to mark this occasion: should the ACS join in with them, and/or should we mark this anniversary in some other way? By 1961, Edgbaston was looking resplendent. Refurbished and renewed, principally due to the pool funding, its capacity had increased to 32,000, equal to that of Lord’s. It was a proud day for Smith to lead his country against the old enemy on his home county ground – and although rain ruined the match, Saturday’s play attracted a ground record crowd of 25,000. Thanks to Chris Overson and Simon Sweetman who are researching our daily bulletins from a century ago. For the rest of the 1954 season he played for his native Leicestershire without making any particular impact. In the 1955 season at Oxford he got away to a bad start, but made runs later and strengthened his reputation as a batsman of considerable application by scoring another century in the University match. He again assisted Leicestershire at the end of the University term.Pete previously served on the committee from 1993 to 2008, and has carried out many other roles for the Association, including typesetting many publications and running ACS Sales from 2006 to 2014. His expertise in matters digital and technological will be a great asset as the committee develops some of the ideas that were discussed at the members’ virtual meeting in November.

He played 4 Tests in The Ashes that antipodean summer without much success (missing out the one England lost). He was a part of the second Test that England won at MCG. He did catch Alan Davidson in each innings and Bobby Simpson in the first. He also batted for over an hour for an unbeaten 6, securing a 16-run lead for England. Chinese Zodiac: MJK Smith was born in the Year of the Rabbit. People born under this sign are honest, observant and hardworking. They seldom rely on other people in daily life, which can make them impatient when dealing with others. As previously announced, the 2020 AGM, postponed from 21 March, has been rescheduled for Saturday 10 October. A Virtual Members Meeting was held via Zoom on 26 November, to discuss forthcoming meetings (including the 2023 AGM in March, and plans to celebrate the ACS’s 50th anniversary with a lunch at Grace Road in October); social media developments; and recent and forthcoming publications. Further details here. A recording is now available via YouTube. 22 November 2022 MJK Smith tells Brian Halford how the '61 Test showcased Edgbaston's rise to the status of regular Test venue - and how that rise was powered principally by the punters of the Second City.

In 1956 he captained Oxford and conformed to what had become habit by scoring another century. No other player has performed this remarkable feat of three separate hundreds in the University match, 201 not out in 1954, 104 in 1955 and 117 in 1956. Moreover, Smith's aggregate, 477, for the three matches surpassed the previous best, 457, by the Nawab of Pataudi in 1929-31. All three of his University matches were drawn. After quitting from his TCCB post Smith became an ICC match-referee, officiating in 9 Tests and 13 ODIs. Smith handled the group efficiently, making sure the stars, some of whom were way superior to him in stature, were handled properly. It was not an easy ask. It is not clear whether being an amateur was a hindrance to this, but it certainly did not make things easier for him, more so given that a sizeable population of the men he had to lead were professionals. He also had a stint as a Director of Aston Villa FC (he was, after all, an Oxford Blue in football as well). There was further news of the planned 50th anniversary lunch, to be held at Grace Road, Leicester, on 14 October, and plans for the distribution of the late Tony Webb’s research papers.

I was fortunate to play with and under him. He was a fantastic player for both the Bears and England. He Became my Chairman when I was CEO and was always very supportive; we were a fantastic partnership together and helped the Bears win 11 trophies in 12 years. This is a trial, and will be reviewed in a few months to see whether there is a demand for the service and how smoothly it works. 25 September 2021 England Test all-rounder Enid Bakewell, whose biography by Simon Sweetman we published in 2018, was also honoured with an MBE. Coalminer’s Daughter is available from the ACS Shop. 29 November 2018Snow recollected in his autobiography: “I can remember a call between them in 1964 going something like ‘No A.C.’ — ‘Yes, Mike’ — ‘Wait A.C.’ — ‘Damn it, Mike’ — ‘Sorry A.C.’” It was not amusing for the Smiths, but it had fielders in splits at times.

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