With pre-season nets now well underway and the feeling of spring in the air, BGCC website continues to look forward to the new season by interviewing some of our key players. This week’s subject is Second Team Vice-Captain, Mark Gracey, who previously led the side to promotion in 2015. We hear of how Brian Lara showed his occasional bowling almost maximum respect …
What is your first cricketing memory?
I’m sure there were many before, but the one that sticks in the mind was the Test Match between England and India at Lords in 1990. When Gooch scored 333 in the first innings and 123 in the second innings. Smith and Lamb also scored tons in that match.
Who encouraged you to play cricket?
I enjoyed cricket while I was at school and playing it was encouraged. After about 17 years after leaving school thought I’d give it a go again.
Who was your first cricket hero and why?
Graham Gooch because of his innings above. I also bought an SS Turbo ‘333’ to play with on the back on that innings.
Can you name-drop any top-class players you have played with or against?
I was lucky enough to play at Lords in a charity event during my previous job and had Desmond Haynes in our team. Each team had an ex-pro so played against, amongst others, Brian Lara (who I bowled a slightly wide dot ball at – the other 5 balls all went for 6!), Courtney Walsh, Darren Gough, Andy Caddick, Matthew Hoggard, Phil Tufnell and the one and only Graham Gooch. I’m not one to name drop though!!
Where is your favourite place to play or watch cricket?
Other than playing at Lords – It has to be at Barrow!
Which England cricket match do you most remember and why?
Despite Gooch’s 333 match, the 2005 Ashes series was an all time classic with each match an individual battle.
Which county do you support?
What other teams have you played for?
Other than school, just Barrow… oh, and the Desmond Haynes select XI
How did you come to join Barrow Gurney Cricket Club?
My parents live in a village not too far from Barrow and through them found out about the club.
What do you think is special about the club?
There are so many things, from the players, members and the ground, which, in my opinion, is the best and most picturesque in the league.
What was the most memorable performance you have seen by a Barrow team or another Barrow player?
I can’t think of just one, so I’d have to say the collective team performance. Being a second team player, winning back to back promotions, one as captain and having a great team along side me is memorable.
What was your most memorable performance for Barrow?
My first 50 for the club a few years ago, so memorable, I can’t remember what year it was!
What is the funniest moment you have witnessed on a cricket field?
So many, but Jonny Sykes falling through the picket fence at the bottom of the ground or Frank Forge heading the ball over the boundary rope for a 6 when trying to catch the ball are on my short list – you decide.
Who is your current favourite player and why?
Ben Stokes – a fellow ginger!
What is your Barrow Gurney prediction for 2017?
Double promotion and an Ali Hood 50!