In 2007 an advertisement in Counsel produced 11 recruits. We set off strangers to each other with little idea of what was awaiting us. Garlands of tuberose opened the doors to an exotic tour, a great success with teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Australia. It was decided to hold the Cup biennially. The competition has widened and the next is to take place in Australia in January 2016.
The Cup is organised by a group of Commonwealth lawyers. The motto is “cricket for friendship” and the teams that have so far participated have played in that spirit.
Last October saw the Bar team, BEWCC, winging it to Delhi. Old hands now, the heat a trifle, the water rules obeyed, we played our best against teams that have become good, some really good, over the years.
The grounds in Delhi vary from ordinary to good, but it is the same for us all, win or lose. For us the tour is all, the cricket the centre of the tour, but the team is what makes it worthwhile for us. Who are these barristers who can decamp at the drop of a brief, these players who carry the honour of the Bar with them to far-off climes?
Quinton Newcomb, our long-tested batting-fromthe-front captain, kept everyone in the best of spirits while Deni Matthews bowled, like the whaler he is, long spells of unrewarded effort. Jamie Williams, the original Welsh element, crashed to a doubly fractured wrist as he tried to sweep aside a bowler hoping to run him out while Robert Percival exercised his knees behind the stumps while allowing his hands to catch all. Charles Prior, from Liverpool, our comeof- age all-rounder bowling a consistent length, while Aaron Walder kept the batsmen guessing with his devilish leg-breaks. Why are leg-breaks always devilish? Tom Bell bowls opening left arm of consistent length. John Brinsmead-Stockham, the “batsman of the tournament” in the Cup played in Barbados, and Andrew de Mestre give us hope. I reminisce: these two batting together at the Imperial ground, Barbados, we overheard this: BEWCC spectator: “What about this lad?” Gary Sobers: “That boy can bat.” ”And him?” “That boy can really bat.”
The four new-comers, Michael Edwards, sure as wicket-keeper and up for the challenge as batsman, Shiv Haria-Shah, recruited on a Maidstone train and a lazy fast bowler, Anu Mohindru, the other Welshman, a league player and doesn’t it show, and Harry Nosworthy, whose bowling came as a complete surprise to the (ultimate winners) Pakistan. Lastly, El Presidente, James Cartwright, mystery to himself, is still tolerated on the field.
All chambers now have wonderful self-written testimonials for their members – “… attention to detail…”, “… dogged pursuit of clients’ interests…”, “… involved in high profile cases…”, and so it is that you would think from the above that BEWCC returned to the Temple with the Butterfield Cup cocooned in a dirty kit-bag. Sadly, not so. BEWCC beat Australia B by one run, lost by a small margin to the West Indies (mostly Trinidad), beaten by Australia and Sri Lanka and outclassed by India and Pakistan. There never has been a team of such spirit in the history of cricket, a frame of mind envied in all the world.
Recruiting net at the Oval or Lord’s
It will be noted that the solicitors did not put in a team, although they played in Cambridge (2010). It is rumoured they are recruiting for the next Cup while BEWCC, the original team, is so well satisfied that most of us cannot wait for Australia, the Gold Coast. “Imagine Las Vegas on an Australian beach,” is how the Australian pitched his bid. In spite of that, any self-employed barrister who is interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to hold a recruiting net at the Oval or Lord’s. Further information can be seen at www.lcwc.info and www. bewcc.moonfruit.