55-51 Top cricketers

55 – Luke Le Tissier

AN EMERGING force in the domestic game as an off-spinning all-rounder. Made his full Island debut four seasons ago and while his two appearances against the Caesareans have been nothing to write home about, the recent evidence suggests that when normality resumes he could become a big player now that he has overcome his hip issues which had held him back.

Voted Weekend League player of the year in 2016 and 2018, Le Tissier has long been an important cog in the Griffins squad. Since the Covid pandemic struck his form in domestic cricket has risen to a higher level as an opening batsman with greater focus and determination to stay at the crease. His strengths include a remarkable ability to play the reverse sweep with a high level of safety and in bowling terms his off- spinners are the equal of any in the island currently. Only last month scored a superb 147 against OEA at the College Field, an innings surpassed in quality by a stunning 17-ball half-century against Wanderers-Rovers which followed a brilliant evening league ton against the champions Cobo. In last summer’s truncated campaign, he went through a purple patch in which he scored four half-centuries in the space of five innings including knocks of 89 and 90.

54 – lan Atchison

THE fact this talented Kiwi was restricted to just one highly successful inter-insular appearance in 2010 had much to do with a selection policy that concentrated on those players ICC qualified. First appeared on the local scene in 2009 and scored heavily for Corinthians in the Evening League and Wanderers at weekends.

Against Jersey in 2010 he was chosen to open alongside Lee Savident and responded with a fine 40 in an opening stand of 60 which set the foundations for a six-wicket win at Grainville. There were 83 on the board before Atchison fell.

‘You never expect to be in a squad, but all I could so was score runs and put myself in the selectors’ eye-line,’ he said on news of his selection. There was touch of class about his batting and a bonus was his ability to bowl very tidy off-spin. Therefore, it was a big loss when he departed the island so soon after making his breakthrough.

53 – Hugh Morres

ALONG with brother Edward, here was one of the outstanding Guernsey cricketers of the very early 20th century. A bulwark of the Grange CC side, which preceded the GICC, this right-handed former Berkshire Minor Counties player was a brilliant all-rounder who made two first-class appearances for Oxford University against Sussex in 1898 and against MCC at Lord’s a year later. That same year, he scored 36 and took 5 for 52 for Oxford against a WG Grace XI. After graduating from Oxford he played for Dorset before heading to Guernsey and a games master’s role at the College. For a period just before the First World War he took up an invite to act as the Elizabeth College cricket coach and he played a major part in developing the skills of the legendary Blad brothers and GH Forty. After serving with the Royal marines in WWl he continued to play for Berkshire until 1921. His son, Archibald, also played first-class cricket, as did his uncles, Thomas and Elliot Morres.

Notable performances:

1897 –          65 & 3 wkt Keble Coll v Radley Coll; 35 on debut for Berkshire v Worcs; 51 v Wiltshire

1899 –          57 & 40 Berkshire v Oxfordshire

1900 –          24 & 5-9 Castel v EC; 113 Berkshire v Oxfordshire

1903 –          6-12 Grange v EC; 4-37 Grange v EC

1906 –          33 & 4-11 Berks v Cornwall; 41 & 5-13 Grange v EC

1908 –          123 & 54 Berks v Wilts

1911 –          101* & 2-29 Athletics v EC

1913 –          76 & 4-63 Berks v Dorset; 4-88 Berks v Dorset

1914 –          34 & 7-50 Berks v Dorset;

1920 –          5-29 Berks v Devon

1921 –          47* & 6-30 Berks v Cornwall

52 – Josh Butler

THE current Island captain made his full senior debut in 2016 and in Covid-disturbed times has now played three times against the Caesareans. In overall representative terms, he is now pushing the 30-mark and twice he has hit half-centuries.

Guernsey have pinned a lot on his mature young shoulders and in domestic cricket for Cobo he had developed into a reliable batsman who is at home anywhere from one to five. Has all the shots, strikes the ball hard and is a brilliant fielder with very secure hands.

51 – Gary Kimber

THE son of Island player Bob, more or less as soon as the St Sampson’s Secondary schoolboy was eligible to play senior cricket he was playing alongside some of the Island’s greats at Rovers. It was immediately clear this was a right-hand batsman of much promise, but initially he was as much as a left-arm seamer who, like most youngsters, wanted to bowl fast. At some stage in his development the bowling element of his game subsided and he was to take up wicket-keeping to supplement the batting. Two years before he was named GCA Young Cricketer of the Year in 1985, he had taken his place in a remarkably strong Rovers A side that had beaten Pilgrims A in the annual showpiece KO final. A year later he was in another, only this time wearing the colours of Pilgrims who won the trophy and defended it successfully in 1985 when the keeper-batsman top scored with 39 against Taverners A. That same summer he made the first of eight inter-insular appearances, playing as a No. 8 batsman and scoring a quick 19 at the death, They were useful runs as Guernsey triumphed by 26.

Thirty-five years ago there was no end of competition for the keeper’s spot and despite a fine debut match, Kimber could not win a place as a batsman in 1986 and it took him a further five seasons before he won his second cap and first appearance as a keeper-batsman. In 1992 his quickfire 29 not out could not quite heave Guernsey over the line as they fell four short at the College Field. In 1993 he struck 33 as a No. 4 batsman and three years later he took 47 off the Jersey attack. A powerful hitter, he occasionally destroyed attacks in domestic cricket. In his latter years, before leaving the island for a life in the Isle of Wight, he was an important member of the dominant Cobo side.