The Strollers once again descended en masse upon The White Horse in Soho last Friday night, having secured the use of the upstairs bar in order to settle matters of state at our gala AGM. Having endulged firstly in some hearty pub grub and several ales as we pored over the hotly anticipated season averages, the room fell (fairly) silent as outgoing skipper Gav rose to give his version of events of the season past.
Before handing over the keys of captaincy, Gav agreed to remain in office to lead the forthcoming tour to Lanzarote in March and also made his services available to assist Dickie in arranging the fixtures for the year ahead. Dave Couldrey also agreed to assume the role of Tour Secretary following our trip to Lanzarote.
There was also the small matter of several awards to bestow — a full summary of which can be found below — and this year saw the introduction of what will doubtless become a new tradition with Dickie's splended Duckanter being handed to whichever lucky Stroller was the last in the season to score a duck to look after over the winter. This year, the glassware went to Dave 'the kitten' Couldrey for his dasterdly third duck in a row against the Tetherdown Trundlers in September. However the kitten's shame was entirely offset as he shortly thereafter picked up the coveted Stroller of the Year award for his fine efforts behind the stumps and with the bat (mostly) throughout the year.
Having finally thanked his team mates for all their support over the last year, especially to vice skipper Viral, Gav then duly gave way to returning officer and Bucketmaster In Chief Matt Morgan, as the Bucket of Justice was brought forth. The election of captains at Stroller AGMs in years gone by has often decended into such chaos so as to make the recent US presidential election appear reasoned and orderly by comparison. However, despite an unconventional ballot process that somehow permitted two Strollers to be voted for per voting slip, this year's election was happily a more genteel affair and all were delighted when the bucket revealed Viral Doshi (pictured) to succeed Gav as our captain for the year ahead.
Viral will be aided once again by George Brown, who returns as vice captain with Dave Gorton serving as co-skipper of vice — fast tracking his ascention to Strollers royalty after a stunning début season.
After Viral received a standing ovation from his team mates, toasted with a round of congratulatory shots, the skipper-elect gave a rousing speech thanking his predecessor and instructing us to 'smash it' next season. We eventually repaired to the bar downstairs to conclude our business with a rousing rendition of Spandau's epic 'Gold' much to the wide eyed astonishment of those onlooking. The kitten promptly emptied the contents of his guts in the street and it was time to go home.
In attendance: Gavin Richardson, Ron Banerjee, Richard Betts, George Brown, Dave Couldrey, Viral Doshi, Spencer Fowler, Dave Gorton, Tom Harvey, Jonny Kemp, Matt Morgan, Ronak Parikh, Tim Sturm
Stroller Of The Year
David Couldrey (260 runs, 9 catches, 8 stumpings)
Batsman Of The Year
Tim Sturm (359 runs at an average of 44.88)
Bowler Of The Year
Viral Doshi (7 wickets at 16.57)
Catch Of The Year (shared)
Dave Gorton (backward point v Sandon Strollers)
Tim Sturm (long off v Hawridge & Cholesbury)
Dolly Drop Of The Year
Gavin Richardson (mid off v Sunday Times Occasionals)
George Brown's maiden century (v Bricklayers Arms)
Newcomers Of The Year (shared)
Dave Gorton & Ronak Parikh
Updated averages were unveiled and are now available to view on the website:
Winter net sessions will start in the New Year (dates to be confirmed) at the MCC Indoor Academy at Lord's with the following Strollers agreeing to sponsor the upfront cost:
A selection of photos from the AGM are available to view online... click HERE