Tuesday, April 24, 2012
DEVON chairman Geoff Evans has been awarded one of the highest accolades in cricket – honorary life membership of the MCC, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Evans, who will be 73 later this month, has been involved in cricket almost all his life as a player and later administrator.
Most of Evans’ club playing career was spent with Exeter, where he also served as club secretary and remains a life member. He saw out is days with Exmouth.
Evans kept wicket for Devon between 1970-1978 – playing in the 1978 Minor Counties Championship winning side - and was appointed assistant secretary of the county club in 1979.
When secretary Ken Warren died unexpectedly in 1986, Evans took over and stayed in office for 23 years before stepping up to replace Roger Moylan-Jones as chairman.
Evans, who is a retired brewery executive living in Budleigh Salterton, has been secretary of the Minor Counties Cricket Association for the past 12 years.
He even found time to act as secretary of the fledgling Devon Cricket Board when it replaced the old Devon Cricket Association in the late 1990s.
It is that service to cricket which has prompted MCC to award Evans with honorary life membership. He joins an illustrious list of recent appointees, which includes Sir Viv Richards, Sean Pollock, Shane Warne, Darren Gough, Anil Kumble, Desmond Tutu and Rachel Heyhoe-Flint!
Evans, who has been an associate member of MCC for several years, said he had no idea who nominated him for the honour.
He added: “I am astonished and, as an unashamed traditionalist, of course flattered to have been honoured in such a way by the premier organization in world cricket which generously supports the game in so many different ways.
“It will be a humbling experience to find one’s name appearing on the list of such illustrious recipients of a similar honour, many of whom are famous retired international cricketers.
“From a wider perspective, however, I prefer to regard this generous gesture by MCC as an acknowledgment of the importance of Minor County cricket at the top level of the game immediately below the professional counties.
“I believe I am the fortunate beneficiary of the substantial voluntary efforts made countrywide by so many who are devoting their time to the administration of the game in the non professional Counties.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all my colleagues in Devon together with whomsoever deemed it appropriate to place my name before the MCC nominations group for consideration as a suitable candidate for this privilege which is received with much gratitude.”
MCC has around 22,000 members world wide and Evans has become one of only 320 to be honoured with life membership.