Category: News

MSCC Photo of the Year 2023 Matt Dipple

MSCC Awards 2023

What a fantastic evening. The food was exceptional, service fantastic and the awards deserved.

Batsman’s award – Tim Riley
Bowlers award – Seril Shah,
Newcomer of the year- Anirudh Sharma
Young player of the year – James Lyon
Catch of the year – Stevyn Jackson,
Champagne moment – Howard Lancaster caught Paul Wordsworth bowled Finlay Moss,
Michael Martin Photography Award- Matt Dipple (above)
Captains award – Seril Shah
Presidents Cup – Paul Wordsworth.

A great evening, thank you everyone who attended, and get well soon for those who couldn’t make it.

Pete VanDe Kerkhof

Michael Martin photo of the year 2021 Seril Shah. THOUGHTS FROM OUTSIDE THE ROPE

Thoughts From Outside The Rope – August


For the purposes of this end of season newsletter, this should not be confused with the oft used interview question but rather how successful the 2023 Middleton Stoney cricket season has been seen from Outside the Rope.


If the only criteria for success was the win ratio, then this has been an outstanding season. Only 1 loss to date in Sunday cricket matches, 2 in T20’s and a defeat by the Australian touring side.  But winning can also be boring as many Formula 1 racegoers have found, so the close matches, sporting team selections and never taking yourselves too seriously has been much appreciated.


With Stuart Broad retiring at 37 we feared that some of our more experienced players might suffer from competitive fatigue and call it a day making it difficult to raise a team. Quite the reverse with MS players also competing in very successful over 60’s teams, becoming committed and expert ground maintenance crew and still finding the energy to coach and encourage other team members. At the start of the season, I commented on how the fridges were groaning with wine and beer. As the season progressed, the age profile of the team changed as did the ratio of pop to alcohol in the fridge.  If a measure of success is young people playing cricket and slightly older people occasionally playing the shots of their youth, then this was indeed a successful season.


2023 saw the return of an Australian touring side. Always good spirited and prodigious consumers, our eventual loss to the Victor Trumper XI was not unexpected.

Whilst it was not out of the ordinary for an Australian side to play at Middleton Park, when we saw the famous grounds and sides included in their tour of the UK it did make you wonder why us?  Yes, we’re friendly, close to Bicester Village and have a fish and chip van parked on the ground but was that enough for them to seek us out? Was our secret weapon the cricket tea? They may have been dining with the Duke of Rutland the next evening but who else served them Vegemite sandwiches, Anzac biscuits and Fairy Bread? If international recognition is a success criteria, then it was fully achieved in 2023.

‘The Traditional Cricket Tea Is Under Threat – 2023 was a terrible year to BBQ – No-one Watches Cricket anymore”.


It is easy to fudge success when measuring yourself, so listening to what the opposition says about you counts for something. Without fail, opposing teams have commented on the quantity and quality of the cricket tea provided each week. Many are surprised it still happens and how individual and beautifully laid out it is.  The break between innings has frequently overrun because they don’t want to leave anything but there has always been enough for social members to share and sometimes enough for lunch on a Monday.

Only once this season has there not been a BBQ due to inclement weather. The regular BBQ has drawn crowds not just because of the quality of the meat but to keep warm and teams have enjoyed the convivial post-match atmosphere to reflect on what might have been had they only made contact with the ball or not made contact with the ball.

Last but not least the opposing teams have been surprised and appreciative of the support they receive from the crowd that grows steadily through Sunday afternoon to evening. Acknowledging their good shots and applauding them off the field is for some teams unusual and they often comment on what a great club spirit there is in Middleton Stoney.


Definitely not a success this year. Whilst the produce exchange and sharing has been first class it has to be said that either tomatoes are scarce or are not being traded. Courgettes were big, soft fruit plentiful and even the occasional fig was spotted.


If the measure of a successful season is dreading the end of the season and already counting the weeks to the start of the next then you know you have cracked it.

Winter well.

Michael Martin photo of the year 2021 Seril Shah. THOUGHTS FROM OUTSIDE THE ROPE

Thoughts From Outside The Rope – July


The Ashes decider (we hope) starts on Thursday July 27th and the following day the local Ashes decider between the Victor Trumper XI touring team and Middleton Stoney CC will take place. Our guests will have travelled thousands of miles and have lots of stories to tell so if work or life in general prevents you being there for the start of the match at 2.00pm come along when you can and enjoy the post-match social. The club Social Secretary Mike Simpson having missed out on his fish and chips in 2015 (not that he mentions it often) has taken responsibility for our supper and fish and chips will be available to purchase after the match along with a well-stocked bar. Pre-booked tickets are not required (as having one didn’t get Mike a meal last time) but don’t hang back if you want to be fed. Diary date – Friday 28th July, Middleton Stoney Cricket Ground.


For the first time in living memory tickets had been sold to watch his performance at Middleton Stoney cricket ground and crowds of locals were gathered by 1.30pm.  For £10 and with a BBQ thrown in they couldn’t believe their luck. The Boss was in town and going to play in front of them. Was it stage fright, were his backing group not up to the job or did he fear that the under 15 contingent wouldn’t know who he was and what a performer he had been? Whatever it was, when it was reported a wasp sting in a delicate place had prevented Peter VDK taking centre stage, there was no riot. The sun had shone, the patient crowd had had a lovely BBQ and seen a competitive cricket match against Banbury CC. Peter had brought with him a substitute player; Middleton Stoney had won and just think of those poor people who were in Hyde Park to see Bruce Springsteen. Paying upwards of £500 only to find out that the queue for the toilets was over 30 minutes, there was no BBQ and Chiltern railways were on strike. They sighed that they had missed Peter’s return to Sunday cricket but with a bit of luck they would catch the Ashes and Wimbledon highlights and still be in bed for 10.00pm. Regrettably the younger members were left confused as they had never heard anything by the rapper PVDK or played cricket against a Bruce Springsteen. Glad that’s all cleared up then! As Peter was leaving the ground he was heard to say “I’ll be back” or was that someone else?


George Lamb was relating tales of a Middleton Stoney cricket tour to Devon. Mostly it described the journey as details of the matches and social events were hazy even for George. Given the recent difficulty of getting to and entering Blenheim Palace grounds, it beggars belief that the team got all the way to Devon without satellite navigation or power steering. Mind you anyone with an electric car couldn’t do it now even with all the modern gizmos.


Thank you to anyone who has written a match report this season. They have been brilliant and are stored on the website if you want to access them (via the fixtures page). Outside the boundary rope there are friends and neighbours to catch up with, allotment produce to compare and share, traffic nightmares to discuss and sometimes the intricacies of the match can get a little lost. What a pleasure it is to read the detail later that week and wonder if you were really there. They are not dry as some team match reports can be but are funny, insightful and at times educational. How many would have recalled that the phrase ‘The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword’ was penned (sorry) by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton if his name hadn’t been mentioned in a recent match report? If you all did, then I blame the state education system of the 1960’s! I find myself looking up people and quotes and then forgetting them just as quickly until another match report arrives. What will we all do in the winter?

Happy watching.