Knebworth Blues Cricket Club celebrates 50th anniversary with awards dinner

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 January 2019

Knebworth Blues team of 1976 at Knebworth Recreation Ground. Keith Lander is second right, back row. Picture: Knebworth Blues

Knebworth Blues team of 1976 at Knebworth Recreation Ground. Keith Lander is second right, back row. Picture: Knebworth Blues

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A Knebworth cricket club have celebrated their 50th anniversary with players past and present turning out for their annual awards ceremony.

Knebworth Blues in 1997. Picture: Keith LanderKnebworth Blues in 1997. Picture: Keith Lander

The club was known as Hitchin Constituency Young Conservatives Cricket Club when it formed in 1969, with current chair Keith Lander, 71, among its founding members.

Speaking to this newspaper about his fond memories, he said: “We started as Hitchin Constituency Young Conservatives Cricket Club and back in 1969 there was nothing to do on a Sunday when the pubs closed at 2pm, so we played cricket till they opened again at 7pm.

“If the game was over early we played a ‘beer match’ of 20 overs a side to fill in the time.

“I remember the first game, it was on Hampstead Heath against a team from North London. We were all out for 34.

Dave Saunders, Roy Boon, David Baker and Roger Hickman with their trophies after the awards dinner. Picture: Keith LanderDave Saunders, Roy Boon, David Baker and Roger Hickman with their trophies after the awards dinner. Picture: Keith Lander

“Then Knebworth Parish Council offered use of the cricket pitch on Knebworth Recreation Ground. It became our home ground for 30 years and we started to get regular fixtures against surrounding villages, such as Kimpton, Preston, Pirton and Codicote – and the team grew from strength to strength.”

To honour that first game, an anniversary match will be played on August 11, almost 50 years to the day of their first outing.

Explaining how the club came to be known as Knebworth Blues, Letchworth-native Keith said: “We morphed into Knebworth Blues as we got older and constituency boundaries changed.

“In 2014 we moved to Hitchin CC’s ground at Lucas Lane and today we are based at Fairfield Park.

Knebworth Blues at Pirton Cricket Club in 1975. Picture: Knebworth BluesKnebworth Blues at Pirton Cricket Club in 1975. Picture: Knebworth Blues

“We play most Sundays through the season and still play the same villages – and many more beside.”

At the dinner and ceremony, president Brian Durham handed out the awards to last season’s players.

David Baker picked up the best batsman, while Roger Hickman did the double – winning best bowler and player of the year.

Roy Boon won the Shanks Trophy for excellent fielding while Dave Saunders was named the clubman of the year.

Knebworth Blues XI at the start of the 2014 season. Keith Lander can be seen third from the right, back row. Picture: Knebworth BluesKnebworth Blues XI at the start of the 2014 season. Keith Lander can be seen third from the right, back row. Picture: Knebworth Blues

To find out more about Knebworth Blues Cricket Club visit kbcc.play-cricket.com or email Keith via keithlander@btopenworld.com.

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