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JCC annual dinner: Farewell to Murph & DJ lifts Arnold Woods Cup again

The 2022 annual dinner and awards ceremony returned to the Josephine Room at The Jugged Hare in Barbican.

Simon Rawson with the Roger Greenslade Trophy

The nominations for the Arnold Woods Cup for performance of the season, presented by John Murphy, were as follows...

Arran Aris for his classy and fluent 61 against UCS Old Boys, the only player who looked completely comfortable on a challenging early season deck.

Oscar Howie for his now traditional half century – this time 65 – at Chingford, a game which also saw debutant Sayed Hasan take 5 wickets with his off-breaks.

Sarbajeet Nag for his 61* to lead us home to victory chasing 236 at Amersham

Sachin Rawson for his 69* in a winning chase at the Highgate Irregulars. His innings was at first patient before he unleashed a series of elegant drives and two big sixes.

DJ Chak for his 114* in a thrilling 4 run win against Hampstead. It was true captain’s knock. He came in at 43 for 2 and saw us to 239 for 4, adding 92 with Sachin Rawson (50*).

Saj Zaib for traditional Dorset tour century. This time it was 116* in a losing cause at Canford.

Sahil Kher for his 101* in our first T20 game against the Hurlingham Club.

Jake Smyth for two absolutely breathtaking catches at short cover vs Bishop's Stortford.

Newcomer Naeem Riaz took back-to-back 5-fors against Northwood and Chobham. He also scored a half century in both games!

Adnan Mohammed for his rapid 81, playing as a one-legged pinch hitter at Middleton Stoney.

The winner was DJ Chak for his 114* at Hampstead. DJ becomes the seventh second-time winner after Brian Pote-Hunt, Sandy Ross, Adrian Moylan, Simon Cleobury, Andrew Short, and Robbie Hudson. Congratulations DJ!

The Michael Meyer Award for big hitting was presented by Jonny Bridcut...

Saif Zaib for his 72 off 23 balls at Amersham, including 10 sixes, one of which left a hole in the new sight screen (see below!)

Sahil Kher's majestic 101* at Hurlingham came off off 52 balls, with 12 fours and 5 sixes - the pick

sailed over the trees beyond the sightscreen into the rose garden, in a different postcode of the Hurlingham grounds - only the gardener was able to find the pink ball amongst his pink roses.

Aashi Zaib for hitting the first two balls of the match for 6 into the cornfield over square leg at Bledlow (both balls were lost).

Adnan Mohammad for his six over midwicket into the tree in his 81 at Middleton Stoney.

The winner was Sahil Kher for his monster blow at Hurlingham.

And lastly, the Roger Greenslade Trophy for most Jester-like antics...

Andy Mortimer for being on the end of a savage mauling at the hands of Highgate kiwi pro Ben Donkers vs The Bedouin at Chiswick CC. It’s great to see Ben here tonight to help Andy celebrate his nomination. A run of nine deliveries read as follows in the scorebook: 666166666. The enormous leg-side net protecting the local housing estate was not high enough and when the fourth towering six landed on the rooftops. Bedu skipper Rob Harrison, also here, was forced to declare after angry residents marched across the road to complain.

Simon Rawson for leading teammates on a wild goose chase out of town on the Saturday night of the game against Jesus College. We were due to play at Girton College the next day so Simon had kindly secured accommodation for a few Jesters in a friend's large townhouse in the city centre. However, Simon's sense of direction was somewhat addled by the pub crawl and lengthy session in the University Hawks Club after the game. Instead of herding the troops homewards, what should have been a 10 minute walk turned into an hour long stubborn, pissed ramble to a flyover in the pouring rain, before finally admitting defeat and calling an Uber. One of the pour souls had pulled a hammy in the Jesus College game. Simon was also accompanied by his dog Viv, who joined us at all stages of the evening, smuggled into taxis and the Hawks Club inside his cricket bag.

Louis Harris' customary nomination is for being the Club's first TikTok star. The match at Totteridge was streamed live on the social media platform, and as Louis went to 50, the caption "banging innings from the Louis" flashed up on screen. Astonishingly there were hundreds of concurrent live viewers, no doubt adoring young fans of Headmaster Harris.

Winning this award for the second time in his career was Simon Rawson for his Cambridge antics.

The evening also marked the end of John Murphy's reign as our Hon Secretary. John has sat on the Committee for the last 20 years, previously as Treasurer - a fantastic knock. Ollie Doward paid this tribute to John, a prelude to a rapturous ovation...

As those of you who were here for the AGM will know, our leader John has decided to step down from the role of Hon Sec after 8 years at the helm. John joined the Jesters CC Committee in 2003 (at the 75th Anniversary AGM at Lord's) and was also Hon. Treasurer from 2005 to 2014.

As a player John’s all-round legacy is already well established, whether as probing medium pacer (it’s fair to say he doesn’t bowl as heavy a ball these days) or hard-hitting bat. Indeed, John’s ability to smash the ball out the ground from the off is the stuff of legend. A first ball six at Bray, straight over the sightscreen and out of the ground lives long in the memory. But he can also play the patient knocks too, thanks to a sturdy technique, once batting out the final 25 overs at Bryanston with Andy Mortimer under extreme pressure. And he won the Arnold Woods trophy in 2002 against a lightning quick, also on tour. And there was the epic 150-odd partnership with Adnan to beat Chobham in 2011. They made the mistake of sledging him and he was well and truly 'in the zone'.

John may be leaving the Committee, but he isn’t leaving the Jesters. And while bringing up a young family outside of London will restrict his appearances, we still look forward to seeing him turn out for us now and again.

John, as a gesture of thanks, the Committee would like to present you with a couple of gifts. Anyone who spends much time within earshot of John will know that he is the three-time winner of the Michael Meyer Award for big hitting. And, rather like Brazil and the Jules Rimet Trophy, we thought we’d mark this achievement by presenting him with a permanent copy of the book, Summer Days, by former Jester Michael Meyer, himself a hitter of a long ball.

Our new Hon. Secretary will be Nick Mumby, who returns for his second stint at the helm. And John will be replaced on the Committee by Rob Harrison.


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