Mark Richardson

By BH - August 20 2019
Mark Richardson In June 2018, Baston lost a superstar. Read about Mark's contribution to our club here.

 

Despite living in Baston, Mark had been a Bourne player for years, skippering a youthful 2nd XI in the top tier of the South Lincs and Border league. Mark was very popular at Bourne, and especially with every young lad he captained, with all of them able to reel off loads of stories about him. It was during his days at Bourne where he earned the nickname 'Captain Chaos'.

Mark was known to Baston CC and made his debut in 2010 for our 20/20 side after being asked by skipper Tim Dyer, which featured a few non-Baston players in the Peterborough midweek league. Mark bought a team shirt, with 'VSM' on the back (Very Small Man)

In June 2011, Mark was one of 8 players who embarked on Ant Morris' popular tour to Alstonefield in Derbyshire. Needless to say Mark was the centre of attention and made the trip very memorable, including interupting a game of cards with super soakers. He was voted as our 'Man of the Tour' despite leaving before the final day as he was embarking on another cricket tour with a different club!

Mark Legend Supersoaker

 

We badgered him for years to join Baston, and finally got our wish as he bought the Spinning Wheel pub, which had been put up for sale. Mark spent as much money doing it up as he had on buying it, turning it into the very impressive White Horse. At the end of the 2012 season, Mark was asked if he'd finally make his transfer to Baston. "Well there's no point buying the pub if I don't play for the team"

Mark's first year with Baston saw a modest return with the bat, but it was in 2014 when he really started to show his class for us. With several players leaving after a successful 2013 season, it was left for Mark to step up and carry our batting order, where he score 100 runs more than our next batsman in the league. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to keep us up.

2015 was a great season for Baston as we won the league, and bounced back straight away. Mark won player of the year, averaging 38 with the bat, including a wonderful maiden century away at Spalding, and top scored with an excellent 63 on a difficult Claypole wicket, which ultimately set us up to win the match, and beat our opposition to promotion.

Mark Legend 100

Mark Legend Bat

 

Mark continued to be one of our best players as we returned to division one, and was part of a strong side that finished 4th and 3rd in the next two seasons.

Mark was a champion of Baston's sporadic entries into the National Village Cup, reminding the players that we were “only 7 games from playing at Lords”. He was also passionate about his “T10 test match” idea.

Mark's contribution to Baston was not just on the field. Aside from buying the pub, he was a big source of sponsorship, which through various organisations and avenues led Baston to having a practice net at the start of 2014, and covers that arrived in the middle of the 2015 season. With other members of the club, Mark helped set up the All Stars program at Baston, which initially attracted 40 local children to the club.

Mark Legend Cup Final teamBaston's XI for the SLBL cup final 2016. Mark bottom left

 

There are a lot of stories to tell about Mark, from the time he was late for a game as he had stopped his car to watch some planes fly over, and another where he was late as he forgot that he had to take his family to the airport. Another week, he took a detour on the way to Long Sutton to buy an old powerful vacuum cleaner, as he believed he was in for a profit due to new EU regulations being brought in!

Mark was an excellent cricketer, a stubborn batsman who could play his shots, an unpredictable bowler with no run up the same, with the ability to take key wickets. He was a good fielder and took some great catches, though normally not in the right place, earning his nickname of 'Saturday' among the Baston players.

Mark was a big advocate of the spirit of cricket. One of my favourite memories was his refusal to run out the Billingborough number 11. A young lad who didn't seem to know what was going on, and after fending the ball down into the legside, stepped outside of his crease, with seemingly no realisation that he could be run out. Mark picked the ball up and quickly approached the stumps, pretending to take the bails off, before throwing the ball back to the bowler with a big grin on his face, and his posh chuckle. An excellent piece of sportsmanship and one I really admired him for.

 

A running joke over the years is that there is a venn diagram for Baston CC players. One circle titled 'Good cricketer' and the other 'Nice bloke', with the joke being that no-one fits in the centre (in fact usually players don't fit in either), well Mark was the exception.

Mark left an impression on everyone who met him, and his love for life and enthusiasm for cricket was contagious. He will always be missed by everyone who knew him, and had the pleasure to play cricket with or against him. Despite his small stature, he leaves a massive hole in our hearts, and our cricket club.

Rest in peace Smiler x

Mark Legend 50