It’s with some sadness that I must report that two of our long-standing club stalwarts have decided to call it a day over the winter.
Karl of course was one of the original eleven Cavaliers, keeping wicket and scoring an unbeaten 17 in that wonderful first match at Hearn Field. That innings set the tone for Karl’s career as a Cavalier: always solid and dependable and usually in the runs, perhaps his one regret would be the gentle lob that he hit to point on 49 against Cockington, which denied him a half-century for the Cavaliers. He was a nippy bowler, a safe pair of hands in the field, and was always ready to gee the boys along with his inimitable personality.
The first day we played at Thorverton I got a call from Karl just after I left Exeter on my way to the ground. I was in the middle of a heavy shower, it was pouring with rain, and I was wondering if we’d see any cricket. Somewhat glum, I pulled over and took the call, thinking he might be lost. He’d left me an answerphone message. “Hey, skip, just wanted to tell you that I’m here, the ground is amazing, the sun is out, and I just cannot wait for the game to start. See you soon dude.” I probably changed the music from Leonard Cohen to the Cardigans at that point. Karl has that kind of effect on people.
Meds of course came to us a bit later and had a glorious first season in 2010, and really put the rest of us to shame. Here was a guy who could play a bit. That season he scored more runs than almost anyone else, becoming only the third Cavalier to score a fifty in our win against Marldon that year, kept wicket impeccably and still managed to claim seven wickets at an average below 27. Injury and fatherhood limited his appearances in later years, but 2010 alone made him a Cavalier legend.
For me Meds was a skipper’s dream. He could bat and bowl than just about anyone else and was happy to umpire, score and make the tea as well. He was also an incredibly economical wicketkeeper who never did anything spectacular because his hands were always in the right place already, so everything looked easy. For me his stand-out game was Si’s stag do game at Shaldon in July 2012, taking 2-31 and scoring 20 runs. That day his bowling was perfectly on the mark, and 20 was a scant reward for a controlled batting performance that relied more on strokes than brawn. “If only we had a couple more like Meds.”
Though the two had very different personalities and styles of play, their Cavalier records are remarkably similar:
Both were also incredibly versatile. Each could bat anywhere from 1-5, were excellent behind the stumps, bowled aggressively and economically and were sharp fielders. More than that, they both love the Cavaliers and they have been key players for us for a number of years. It has been an absolute pleasure to have had them both with us for so long, both will be sorely missed around the club and we wish them both the very best of luck in their future endeavours.
At the committee meeting this evening, we agreed unanimously that both Karl and Meds would be nominated as Honourary Life Members of the Cavaliers for their effort and achievements and the massive commitment they have shown to the club over the years. Of course we hope they will both come along now and then to watch and have a beer (and maybe even play the occasional game if we’re lucky), but if not – they will always be Cavaliers.