Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Lord King: Becoming Worcs President Is One Of “proudest Moments Of My Life”

Lord King: Becoming Worcs President Is One Of “proudest Moments Of My Life”

Lord Mervyn King said it was "one of the proudest moments of my life" to be elected as president of Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

The former Governor of the Bank of England – a Worcestershire supporter for more than 50 years – was confirmed at last night's AGM as the new president in place of John Elliott who has stood down from the role.

Lord King recalled the Championship triumphs of 1964 and 1965 and how the same philosophy of building a team over a lengthy period of time applied today with the squad being assembled by current Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes.

He also paid a glowing tribute to skipper Daryl Mitchell in reminding him of similarities to Don Kenyon who skippered the side to that double triumph five decades ago.

Lord King said: "A heartfelt thank you for electing me president of this wonderful cricket club. It's a very great honour, particularly in the 150th anniversary year.

"But it's a very personal thing for me too because as a small boy I spent all my summers sitting at New Road, always on the first row.

"The reason for that was because on the odd occasion the ball went through the Worcestershire slip cordon, the ball would hit the railings and I would pick it up and throw it back to either Jack Flavell or Len Coldwell.

"I would go home in the warm glow of knowing that either Flavell or Coldwell had said 'thank you' to me!

"I can tell you that little boy never dreamt that one day he would stand in front of you as president of this club. This is one of the proudest moments of my life, I'm very grateful to you for that."

Lord King added: "Obviously I'm old enough to remember the 100th Anniversary, the great Centenary in 1965 when not only did we win the Championship in 1964 but we retained it with players like Tom Graveney and Basil D'Oliveira to the fore.

"But the big lesson of that experience for today is that team was not put together quickly. It was put together over at least 10 years and each year one or two new players would come along.

"Eventually when Graveney and D'Oliveira came along, the side on the batting and bowling front was good enough to win the Championship two years running.

"It showed the absolute importance of continuity and creating and building a team.

"Over the years I've got to know Bumpy (Steve Rhodes) very well and I am greatly impressed with his depth of knowledge and unbelievable work ethic and total commitment to also building a team over a long period of time. It can't be done quickly.

"Alongside Bumpy in Daryl (Mitchell) we have someone who, to me, is the closest I've seen to a Worcestershire captain since Don Kenyon himself who captained that 1964-65 side.

"To me it's a great honour to be president when the two of them are at the helm."

Lord King paid a handsome tribute to John Elliott who first joined the playing staff in 1959 and became part of the committee 35 years ago before becoming chairman for an eight year period.

He said: "It's also a great honour to follow John Elliott. I've got to know him and he always impressed me as someone who had Worcestershire at his very heart and soul.

" He did so many things behind the scenes to keep the club on the right track and I can think of no greater honour than to follow John in this post.

"We will work hard, slowly, patiently, but steadfastly to bring about the final steps in the creation of a ground fit to hand on to those who in 50 years time will be celebrating the bi centenary of this wonderful club.

"I hope you all have as good a season as I'm confident Daryl and his colleagues on the playing field will have too."