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More than 100 current and former players of Middlesex County Cricket Club and their guests attended Middlesex’s Annual Players Day on Friday 24 May, the opening day of Middlesex’s Division Two county championship match against Sussex. Thankfully the weather remained dry, which enabled everyone to gather in the Coronation Garden at Lord’s to enjoy each other’s company, a glass of wine and a sumptuous picnic lunch produced by Denise Fraser, the wife of Angus Fraser. With the exception of The Sunrisers, who were playing a Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup match at Chelmsford, there were players from each of Middlesex’s teams – professional men, women and disability – in attendance.

The fact that Middlesex struggled to make the inroads into the Sussex batting line-up they wanted did not distract from the enjoyment had by all. From a Middlesex perspective it was wonderful to see so many legends of the club having a laugh and enjoying each other’s company. It was particularly nice to see John Price, Alan Jones, Ted Clarke, Mike Brearley and Clive Radley sat on benches reminiscing and laughing. Equally satisfying was watching players of the eighties and nineties -Gatting, Butcher, Emburey, Roseberry, Cowans, Ellcock, Feltham, Pooley and Weekes - confirming the strong and fond relationships they have with each other.

Of the may highlights on a special day was the presentation of ceremonial caps to a number of former players. The caps, which have the players name and appropriate numbers on them, are awarded to recognize each players contribution to the history of this fantastic club.

The first caps were awarded to Middlesex’s disability players and they were presented by Mike Gatting and Club President Mark Ramprakash. The players chosen to receive caps in 2024 were Stefan McKenzie, Susan Benson, Ben Mason and Aryan Janjale.

The next players to receive their caps came from the Middlesex Women’s team. Two current players – Naomi Dattani and Natasha Miles – led the way and collected their caps from Gatting and Ramprakash. Also recognized were Caroline Nolder and Joy Menage, who made their debuts for Middlesex Women in the mid-eighties.

During the early part of 2024 two huge figures of Middlesex CCC passed and members of the family of Charles Robins and Mike Murray were invited to Lord’s for lunch and to collect posthumous caps for their fathers. Charles ‘Winky’ Robins collected a cap on behalf of his father, whilst Sarah Moore, the daughter of Mike Murray, collected a cap on behalf of her father.

Finally the former male players received their caps from Gatting and Ramprakash. This year the club celebrated the careers of Roland Butcher, Jason Pooley, Paul Weekes, Mark Feltham, Tim Lamb, Mike Roseberry, Martin Vernon and Paul Farbrace, who left the Sussex dressing room at tea to come to see his former team-mates.

The day was organized by Middlesex in the Community (MITC), the new charitable arm of Middlesex CCC, which oversees participation and recreational cricket in the county of Middlesex. MITC would like to thank MCC for their help with organizing the day, Lisa Whybrow for organizing things and, especially, Denise Fraser and her helpers for providing everyone with a wonderful lunch in a delightful area of the ground.

MITC look forward to organizing next year’s Players Day and recognizing more legends of this fantastic club.

If you would like to know more about MITC, what it does, what it hopes to achieve and to potentially get involved in helping us in some shape or form, please contact Lisa at [email protected], everyone is welcome.

For a full gallery of the day, visit the Middlesex & Sunrisers Players Association Facebook page.

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