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Drovers Cricket Club - A Briefs History by 008 et al


The Beginning of Time

It was the summer of 2003 - Beyonce was Dangerously in Love and some newish kid called Roger Federer was about to scorch up the grass courts of SW19.  Heady days.  It was also a time when 2 stallions of sport, Craig W Short and Roy Haycock devised a grand challenge match to end all matches.  Roy, in a rather unique position of owning a cricket pitch and the image rights to a Buzzards team, invited an opposition to the hallowed turf of Bowerswaine.  And so it was, on a humid Saturday 26th July 2003, that the Craig Short President's XI first congregated, taking its stock from old boys of the fine establishments of Cheltenham College and Reading University.

The match itself was first memorable not just beacuse of the 22 fine gentlemen foregathered but also the welcome presence of some girl groupies, a binful of beer and some big beats to walk out to.  Mr Haycock kindly provided some umpiring duties.  The Buzzards' total of about 170 looked to be enough, especially when Shorty departed for 50-odd.  However a monsoon reinvigorated the Drovers' batting and somehow they got closer and closer, the champagne moment being the bat slipping out of Charlie's hand and flying over square leg.  By hook or by crook it got unbearable, and the end result was a tie.

The rest was legendary - pig roast and more booze before the first pilgrimage to the Drovers Inn.  The drinking, games and drinking games continued into dawn and the stage was set for the future.


Follow Up

Well it would have been rude not to.  12 months later, on perhaps 24th July 2004, much the same happened again with similar levels of carnage during and after the match.  Only this time the Buzzards won. 



In a seismic moment of ambition, Shorty and Hillsy led the charge in transforming the annual invitation XI into a fully-fledged club. And so it was that the first ever Drovers Cricket Club AGM took place on Saturday 29 January 2005, with Shorty installed as Chairman, Hillsy as Vice-Chairman, Kinsey as Treasurer and G Man as Mr Drover.

The 2005 season saw the establishment of a fixture list which, along with the Buzzards, included weekend and midweek games. We still knew where our roots were though and a highlight included an epic tie against the Buzzards - DCC's 264-7 was more than competitive, but the hosts reached parity thanks to an unfortunate mis-field by Charlie on the last ball to allow a third to be run. Weslos's video montage of the day remains a masterpiece.

Regular opposition such as the Maladroits came onto the radar, and DCC finished runner-up in the inaugural Magners Cup 20-20 tournament on 14 August 2005 at the Bank of England ground.

DCC also marmalised itself into an effective touring unit from 4-7 August 2005 in the hotbed (unfortunate phrase) of world cricket that is Amsterdam. Much comedy abound, as you might expect (see page on Amsterdam 2005 tour)

With around 20 players having appeared in previous years, 2006 saw the introduction of squad numbers through embroidered DCC caps. An early epic was enjoyed against the Troughton XI, when Hillsy hit a four off the last ball to secure a one wicket win.

With a regular fixture list now emerging, the DCC became a true summer movement as games were often followed by high quality post-game smash. The ultimate, however, remained the Buzzards and DCC gained its first win in the fixture, before completely and utterly dominating the Drovers Inn. This form was built upon in a late season triumph at the Magners Cup.

Time to tour and what an epic it was. The link ... sums it up. Amazing weather and comedy with the cricket, cheesy clubbing, catamarans and cheap beer leaving 13 Dennises battered by the end of tour, which culminated in an all-nighter up to the mid-morning flight. Amazing scenes.

2007 saw DCC fully established as a bona fide club complete with AGMs and awards nights. The fixture list grew, giving more and more opportunity for sublime feats both on and off the pitch.

An early season fixture saw perhaps the greatest Droving innings of all time as Kimbo carried his bat, scoring 79 on a cabbage patch in a game where we were all out for 139, losing by 4 runs. Other highlights included more regular games against favourite opponents such as the Maladroits and xxxx.

The Magners Cup went APC Global with a full-on tournament with the Lashings CC. The DCC has honoured to welcome Tino Best and Henry Olonga into its ranks, the latter confirming his status as a total legend. Naturally DCC took home the tournament win.

Sweet music of another kind was made when the club laid down some tracks for its inaugural CD. Cue unimaginable scenes.