Player Profile – Chris Pannell

Name: Chris ‘Calypso’ Pannell

Occupation: IT for a city law firm

Cricket Specialty: These days I spend my time getting out and looking technically correct whilst doing so.

Cricketing History: I’ve played and loved the game since first playing at junior school. Strongest memories of that time are long summer holidays in which I’d drag my little brother, a lawn mower, stumps, wind break, a tin of my dad’s white emulsion paint and a radio across the road. I’d cut strips of grass and paint on the creases and with our ‘auto wicky’ wind break set up behind the batsmen we would play for hours to the accompaniment of Test Match Special. I honed the square cut quickly on a bouncy track.

Club cricket from the age of 10 was played at Bishops Stortford. In the Colts side we had some success, winning the regional Ken Barrington Cup in the U15s and going on to national finals in Sherbourne. I played in the adult sides from the age of 14 and oddly enough recorded one of my best knocks playing as a last minute addition to the Sunday 1s side away at Westcliff. I was selected for Essex schools at 15 and played a couple of seasons with them, training at the county ground in Chelmsford. My small claim to fame from this time is being bowled at (and keeping out) Essex and England off-spinner Peter Such who was in the nets one day.

Cricket playing took a bit of a back seat during University years and it took a little while before I got back in to it. Really it was Speldhurst where I finally took it up again on anything like a regular basis. These days I enjoy turning out occasionally and helping with the coaching of the junior sides. Speldhurst is a lovely club to play at and to be associated with. I look forward to turning out a little more regularly this year after a self-imposed ‘lay the patio’ ban in 2016.

Highest Score: 103 in 60 odd deliveries playing for Helena Romanes school against an Ilford side. Best proper innings 83 not out in a partnership of 190ish to win for Bishops Stortford and hitting 16 in 4 balls from the 6ft opening bowler to finish with a flourish.

Best Bowling Figures: 6 for 1 from 4 overs playing for Bishops Stortford.

Speldhurst Cricketing History: I remember turning out for the winter nets about a decade ago and doing enough not to look completely incompetent. I was fortunate to play with Pierre at his best and Chris Beasley who hit the ball as far as I have ever seen. Their partnership at Outwood was remarkable and I still remember their skipper breaking the picket fence in a vain attempt to stop another boundary. I also enjoyed playing with the Trace brothers, Andy always able to make a meaningful contribution with bat or ball. In latter years I’ve enjoyed watching the young ones come through. Dave, Ollie, Jim are all very talented and great fun to play the game with. My one regret is not being there for the fabled ‘crumbly boots’ century by Muddy.

Cricketing Heroes: I was brought up on tales of Botham’s heroics in the 1981 Ashes series. I loved his do or die attitude and immense skill.

Favourite Cricketing Moments: Lots of favourite watching moments, but one of the best was Flintoff’s 7 ball over bowled at Ponting in the second test in the 2005 series. Quick, unplayable and ultimately successful. Closer to home I really enjoy the Summer Slog events.

Ambitions for the Season: to play some more games take some good catches and hit at least one fifty.

Song I’d most like to hear played as I walk out to bat: Soul Limbo (the old BBC 2 intro music) or Birch Tree by Foals.

Preferred G&D Beverage: Slightly against the run of play here, Harvey’s is my preferred ale.