The Bar of England and Wales Cricket Club (BEWCC) began with enormous enthusiasm. First a demolition of Bangladesh (Dan Burton 5 wickets), followed by a one run victory over Australia B (becoming a special match in the Cup) with our tax barrister and captain John Brinsmead-Stockham on 98 not out just behind Andrew de Mestre with 104 creating 230-1. Australia 229. Last 4 balls, Dan bowling, w1.2. Now BEWCC thinks it is going to win the Cup. Unfortunately, India A, batting first for 403-8, put our hopes in true perspective. BEWCC 89-10. The high point was Gordon Lee’s lbw of the Indian ‘professional’ after two, he says, dropped catches of same gentleman (see below). These are all 35 over matches as stipulated in the rules. Chastened, next up being Sri Lanka, BEWCC was further put in the corner with 112-9. It took a mere 10 overs to pass our score. Never mind, our last pool match, played at the old test ground of the Oval, a pitch played on by Bradman no less, gave BEWCC a satisfactory and first ever win over the West Indies (mostly Trinidadians). In reply to their 188-7 BEWCC deployed the above-heroic pair (JB-S 65 NO; AdM 60) to reach 192-1 in 24 overs.

The equalising game against the equivalently placed team in the other pool brought BEWCC head to head with the English Solicitors. Although the solicitors won in a reduced overs game, it was a good game giving BEWCC sixth place overall, followed by a pizza-fest by the luxurious pool in the luxurious hotel (at least to this legal aid barrister), overlooked by a railway station so we could watch local life pass by.

"Unfortunately the usual harmony of our Cup was ruptured by cross-accusations that [India and Pakistan] were playing men who had ‘first-class cricket’ experience which is against the rules… They both had to be disqualified"

The final was supposed to be between India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, the usual harmony of our Cup was ruptured by cross-accusations that these two teams were playing men who had ‘first-class cricket’ experience which is against the rules. The committee (the leaders of each team or country) acted with exceptional speed. Within three hours of the ‘debate’ a court was convened, evidence received and a decision made. There was no option, rules being rules. They both had to be disqualified. The next day the final was played between Australia A and Sri Lanka A (they having played each other the day before) and the Cup came to a successful conclusion. Australia won.

It is of great interest to view the way each team approaches the Cup; even between the solicitors and BEWCC there is a cultural gap. BEWCC is pure cricket. The young members are growing into a strong core, the last four mentioned in the team list, left. As always the teams hosted each other and Sri Lanka gave us all opportunities to meet in the evening. I notice that as the years roll by a number of genuine friendships have grown between individuals across the Commonwealth. All as it should be.

The next Cup will be held in New Zealand in January 2020 and new recruits should email:

The team

  • James Cartwright (President)
  • J. Brinsmead-Stockham (Captain)
  • Deni Matthews
  • Jamie Williams
  • Charles Prior
  • Paul Stewart
  • Andrew de Mestre
  • Aaron Walder
  • Anu Mohindru
  • Gordon Lee
  • Yasim Patel
  • Sam Burrett
  • Darren Almeida
  • Dan Burton
  • Edmund Gross