A history of League Cricket at Chenies & Latimer
Playing History 1 of 4

1. A history of League Cricket at Chenies & Latimer

This blog documents the history of league cricket at our club, and plots our performance in the league since the year 2000.

Senior cricket at Chenies used to take the form of friendly matches on both Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. While the term friendly invokes an impression of idyllic and stress free sunny weekend afternoons dominated by sounds such as the clonk of ball on bat or polite appealing or the appreciative clapping of hands, the cricket was often fierce and competitive. We had regular fixtures, many of which held an element of rivalry and certainly revenge if the previous year’s result had not gone our way.

This began to change from the 1970s. The Thames Valley League started in 1972 and other local leagues such as the Chilterns League and the Mid Bucks League were founded soon after. Initially Chenies resisted the lure of league cricket, opting instead to preserve the traditional modus operandum, and we did this throughout the 1970s and 80s and into the 90s. But fixtures on Saturdays were becoming harder to secure as most clubs were entering into the leagues. Also, our younger players of the day were wanting to flex their muscles in the competitive environments that only league cricket could provide.

So, in 1992 Chenies & Latimer finally became a league cricket playing club by entering the Chilterns League.
The picture below is the 1st XI on the occasion of the first league game played by the club on 16th May 1992 at Cookham Dean.

Back Row: Derrick Mead (Umpire), Richard Culling, Rick Burroughs, John Whitworth (wk), Paul Wlodarczyk, Bill Mead, Stuart Bowen, Neil Brook
Front Row: Ross Panter, Kevin Heffernan, Malcolm Davies (capt.), Chris Wenman, Chris Ace
For the record the game ended in a draw – Chenies batted first and were all out for 163. In reply Cookham Dean hung on for the draw 9 down for just 129 runs.

The committee saw the Chiltern League as an introduction into the world of competitive cricket and 2 years later we were invited to join the much bigger Thames Valley League, which we duly accepted.

At that time the league was structured into divisions of 18 teams and sides played each other just once throughout the season. The 1st XI played against only other 1st XIs and the 2nd team played exactly the same clubs on the same days, but their 2nd XIs. Promotion and relegation was defined by the 1st XI only, i.e. if the 1st XI was promoted, so were the 2nd XI.

But big changes took place as the millennium rolled around. The formation of the Home Counties Premier League (HCPL) meant that the 1st XIs of the really big clubs moved into that and consequently the Thames Valley League was re-structured. The level at which 2nd XIs played no longer depended upon the 1st XI, and many of the big clubs entered 3rd, 4th and even 5th teams into the league. Over the first few years of this century, divisions were also condensed into 10 teams and each opposition was faced both home and away in a season. This has largely been the structure for 20 years now. The top 2 in each division are promoted and the bottom 2 relegated. This is not always the case though; the Thames Valley League, along with other leagues, is a feeder into the HCPL. Therefore, depending on promotion to or relegation from the HCPL the number of teams promoted and relegated throughout the TVL structure can change in order to maintain the balance of 10 teams per division.

The attached document charts how our teams have fared over the years.

So, with 30 years of league cricket behind us, who have been the leading run makers and wicket takers over that period? The following summarises the leading performers in 1st XI matches only, of which there have been 509 since 1992:
(Stats updated post 2022 season)

Top 10 Appearances:
Dave Brown – 392
Stuart Bowen – 263
Derek Spedding – 250
Paul Wlodarczyk – 220
Scott Norwood – 218
Andy Chapman – 210
Andy Hopkirk – 188
Kevin Heffernan – 163
Chris May – 159
Tony Connor – 151

Top 10 Run Scorers:
Stuart Bowen – 7,217
Scott Norwood – 5,795
Paul Wlodarczyk – 5,115
Andy Hopkirk – 4,094
Andy Chapman – 3,958
Chris May – 3,136
Tony Darbyshire – 2,456
Javed Qureshi – 2,454
Alex Martin - 2,238
Tony Connor – 2,108

54 centuries have been scored and 344 half centuries. The most centuries have been scored by:
Stuart Bowen – 8
Scott Norwood & Alex Martin – 7
Stuart Chisholm – 5
Geoff Isaacs – 4
Tony Darbyshire & Andy Hopkirk – 3
Luke Carvey – 2
The most half centuries have been scored by:
Paul Wlodarczyk & Scott Norwood – 35
Stuart Bowen - 34

Top 10 Wicket Takers:
Dave Brown – 850
Derek Spedding – 248
Scott Norwood – 244
Kevin Heffernan – 236
Andy Wilde – 179
Rick Burroughs – 174
Chris Ace – 126
Richard Parker – 115
Chris May – 96
Rob Brown – 89

There have been 145 5 wicket hauls, the most by individuals being:
Dave Brown – 48
Andy Wilde & Richard Parker – 9
Rick Burroughs – 8
Kevin Heffernan – 7
Chris Ace & Derek Spedding – 6

Top Fielding Statistics (includes wicketkeeping):
Stuart Bowen – 180 Catches & 29 Stumpings
Dave Brown – 138 Catches
Andy Hopkirk – 99 Catches & 10 Stumpings
Luke Carvey – 76 Catches & 33 Stumpings
Andy Chapman – 94 Catches & 5 Stumpings
Paul Wlodarczyk – 71 Catches
Scott Norwood & Chris May – 57 Catches
Tony Darbyshire – 37 Catches & 12 Stumpings

N.B. Fielding statistics have not always been accurately recorded over the years and therefore these figures probably under-estimate the actual performance of the individuals listed.

Work is still in progress to collate the 2nd XI and 3rd XI statistics over the years and will be published on the site once ready.


League Division Performance by Team 2000-2022