15 november, An Evening with Ashley Giles mbe

On 15th November, we are delighted to host the one and only 'King of Spain', Ashley Giles MBE. Giles, a former English first class cricketer played 54 Test matches and 62 ODIs for England, before being forced to retire as a result of a recurring hip injury. In July 2004 he recorded match-figures of 9–210 in the first Test against the Windies at Lord's (including his 100th Test wicket, Brian Lara), which won him the Man of the Match award. He followed this with his best Test-figures of 9–122 in the second Test at Edgbaston, and was instrumental in England beating the Windies twice. In that series he gained the nickname "King of Spain", after a set of mugs ordered in 2000 (for his testimonial year) were erroneously printed with that slogan, instead of "King of Spin". In 2005, he was named as one of five cricketers of the year by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. In the 2005 Ashes series, Giles captured the wickets of all of the top Australian batsmen at least once during the series. He hit the winning runs in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge to give England a 2–1 lead. He contributed a Test-best 59 runs and a century partnership with Kevin Pietersen to ensure the draw in the final Test at The Oval and a 2–1 series victory.

Giles was forced into retirement by injury in 2007 but quickly became a coach, first at Warwickshire and on 28 November 2012 the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed Ashley Giles would become England's limited overs Head Coach taking charge of the Twenty20 and One Day International teams. Since his departure from this role, he has returned to Warwickshire as Sport Director.

Giles will always be fondly remembered by all of those who watched him play over the years and is a fine example of how hard work pays off. He was undoubtedly one of England's most dependable spinners and lower order batsmen. 



17 January, an evening with alex gidman

On 17th January 2019, the Herefordshire Cricket Society welcomes former England A, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire cricketer and current Worcestershire first team coach Alex Gidman.

Gidman's first-class cricketing career began with limited overs cricket in 2001 in the C&G Trophy. He played his first County Championship match a year later, and while Gloucestershire failed to impress in that year's competition, they were promoted the following year, with Gidman establishing himself in the middle-order and averaging over 40 with the bat.

Gidman was appointed England A captain for their 2003-04 tour to India, but had to leave the tour with a hand injury before he played a game. Gloucestershire finished in mid-table that year, with Gidman scoring 869 runs, for which he was rewarded with a new contract. While 2005 saw Gloucestershire relegated to the second division in the Championship, Gidman hit three centuries, including a career-topping high score of 142 against Surrey.

The following season, Gloucestershire struggled in the second division, though he hit four centuries in the season, finishing with an average of just below 50. In 2007, he averaged 39.65 and was Gloucestershire's top scorer.

Gidman was appointed captain of Gloucestershire in 2009 taking over from Jon Lewis. He was awarded a benefit year in 2012, after being with the county for 10 years. After Gloucestershire finished bottom of the 2012 County Championship, Gidman stood down as captain, having already relinquished captain duties in the Friends Life t20 to Hamish Marshall. He felt he needed to concentrate on his own game, and was replaced by Michael Klinger.

With the burden of the captaincy removed, Gidman enjoyed a very successful 2013 season, averaging 51.13 and amassing 1125 runs. He also scored a career high 211 against Kent, the first time a Gloucs player had scored a double century since Craig Spearman in 2006. In June 2013, he was rewarded with a new three-year contract taking him up to the end of the 2016 season. In September 2014 it was announced that Gidman would join Worcestershire on a two-year contract. In August 2015 Gidman announced that he was launching an organisation which would support ex-players back into a life after sport. Ironically, In February 2016 he announced his retirement from cricket, due to a serious finger injury.

More recently, Gidman has been appointed first team coach of recently crowned T20 champions Worcestershire. Gidman’s appointment is part of a restructuring at the club, with Kevin Sharp moving from his role as head coach to head of player and coaches development.

The move marks a quick promotion for Gidman, after he joined the county in March as Second XI coach. During the summer, Gidman also provided assistance to the first team, working alongside bowling coach Alan Richardson to help lead Worcestershire Rapids to victory in the T20 Blast.


21 february, an evening with devon malcolm

On the 21st February, the Herefordshire Cricket Society welcomes England fast bowling legend Devon Malcolm. Known for his absolute raw pace, on his day Devon Malcolm was known as one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket. Malcolm was one of the only genuinely fast bowlers to have played for England during the 1990s. Born in Kingston Jamaica, Malcolm made his debut for Derbyshire in 1984 and qualified for England in 1987. Malcolm made his debut for England against Australia in the 1989 Ashes tour where he took his first wicket, that of Steve Waugh for a duck.

On the West Indies tour of 1989/90 Malcolm excelled as England won the First Test. He took ten wickets in the Second Test and, with nineteen scalps in four Tests, returned as England's leading wicket-taking bowler of the trip.

On 20 August 1994, playing for England against South Africa at The Oval, Malcolm was hit on the helmet by a bouncer while batting against Fanie de Villiers. He was incensed by this, exclaiming to the South African slip cordon the now famous words "You guys are history", and hit back with his greatest spell of international bowling, ripping through the South African batting order to finish with figures of 9–57, at the time the sixth-best innings analysis in the history of Test cricket. His performance was subsequently ranked 91st in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sporting Moments in 2002. It was also the best bowling analysis, in Test cricket, by an English fast bowler in the 20th century. Malcolm was named as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1995. Malcolm's eight-year England career came to a close in the final Test of the 1997 Ashes series at The Oval.

As the cricket writer, Colin Bateman, noted, "Malcolm, incredibly wholehearted with an easy charm off the field, became a national hero".