Yesterday, at Merchant Taylors’ School in Northwood, former England and Middlesex bowler, Angus Fraser, and current Interim Chair of Middlesex Cricket, presented County Caps to members of the Club’s Under 11’s, Under 12’s and Under 14’s County Age Group Boys squads.
Having earned 88 Caps for his country in Test and One Day International formats and 510 Caps for Middlesex across First-Class and List-A formats, few are better placed than Fraser to deliver an inspirational speech to all the keen young cricketers on the importance of earning your county cap, what it presents, and the pride you should feel every time you wear it out onto the field of play to represent your county.
Fraser talked the group through his own experiences of earning caps throughout his playing career, from the early days as a youngster with Stanmore Cricket Club, the Club in Middlesex that he grew up at and learned his trade, right though to him earning his full international caps with England and the subsequent ceremonial caps he earned for representing his country.
Speaking of the honour of presenting the youngsters with their Middlesex County Caps, Fraser said:
“Caps in cricket are a unique item. In rugby and football players are presented with caps but they never wear them. In cricket the player wears their cap whilst playing, which makes it a much more personal item of your clothing. In a cap you experience highs and lows, shed tears of joy and despair. It has a story to tell.
“In a career in cricket a player is likely to wear several caps, and they are all special. The badge on each cap represents a club; a community which is likely to have a rich and proud history. Because of this every cap should be respected and treasured.
“A Middlesex cap is a very special item. They are not given away and every player that wears it has achieved something quite considerable, and by wearing it you are following in the footsteps of Andrew Strauss and Eoin Morgan.
“Presenting county caps to players in Middlesex’s pathway is one of the proudest and most enjoyable things I do. When I look at each of the squads, I know there are players in front of me that will go on to play for the 1st XI at Lord’s. Who they are and when this will happen, I do not know.
“What I do know is that it is humbling to present Middlesex caps to energised and happy cricketers in front of their proud parents.
“I hope and trust the players wear their caps with pride and that the award signifies the start and continuation of a long and enjoyable experience with Middlesex CCC.”
Middlesex’s Pathway Development Manager, Stewart Davidson, added:
"Today was a fantastic moment for our county age group players, who were presented their caps by a legend of the club. All the players have earned the right the represent the county and it is a special moment to celebrate all their hard work.
“We encourage our young players to wear their caps with pride, and to uphold the highest standards, both when representing the county and in games for their clubs and schools.
“Angus speaks so well about what it means to play for Middlesex and it's an important part of our young players understanding what it means to represent the club."