Jack (or Captain Jack as he is affectionately known) was introduced to The Bears by Nick Purnell, roping him to play against Saltford. Jack was obviously a lucky mascot and The Bears won that day. Jack jokes it was the only time he had see Damien Cull (Damo) score any runs.
Jack has a sunny disposition which shows on the pitch. His claim to fame is skippering the Sunday XI side against Easton Cowboys at Farnborough, where there was a Captain’s innings of 63, where he took 5 wickets, winning his first game as skipper.
Jack plays for both the Saturday and Sunday XIs, and enjoys the variation this brings to his game. His early memory of joining the club was Richard College mentoring him in his first game, his advice being to bowl a no ball first ball, first over. “It shows if the umpire is paying attention” said Tricky Dicky.
Jack is clear about his aspirations for this season. “Given the issues we have with player availability, survival in the Saturday League, and finishing in the top three of the Sunday League would be a good result. This would allow us to recruit new players over the winter, finish in the top half on the Saturday League and potentially win the Sunday League in 2019”.
When asked what Jack likes about the club, he becomes more serious. “Club is the best word to use for it. It is like a family, has a good atmosphere, everyone gets involved, and there is good interaction between the old guard and the new Bears on the pitch. Older guys understand the young ones will make mistakes and learn from them, and make allowances for that”.
He also loves the never say die attitude of the Saturday XI, something which has spawned over time the expression “A Bear Flat Finish”, meaning clutching victory from the jaws of defeat. A good example of this was the game he was involved in with the Sunday XI v Bristol Afghans a couple of seasons ago. The game was to all intents and purposes lost, but The Bears took a few wickets and turned the game around. “We were pulling together as team, Jay, George, Sam, there was a little bit of venom/bite/nibble riding on the game, they got our backs up, so we dug our heels in and went for it. We took 22 wickets that day (two run outs) defending 118”.
Saturday XI Captain, Mark Gunning had this to say about Jack: “Jack is someone who I can always rely on – calm under pressure, multi-talented and a true team player in every sense. His understanding of the game is second to none which allows him to be empathetic in certain situations, he just gets it! I really enjoy playing alongside Jack, and we are going to need him as we enter the end of season dog fight!’
Asked who his Bear Flat hero was, Jack hesitated, then smiled. “Without doubt, Rich “Chucky” Bahadoor, he plays with a smile, always wants to win, doesn’t cross the line, keeps the right level of competitiveness throughout the game. I have fond memories of Chucky looking out for me in the early days, travelling to away matches in his old GTI. He was always there to motivate me when I’m batting and he’s umpiring”.
Jack’s 2018 “Champagne Moment” came at the game against Lansdown on 22 July; With four wickets down for 69 runs between the outgoing batsmen, chasing 302 to win, Jack and Ross Newman shared a wicket partnership of 192, with Ross scoring 98 and Jack 96. It was a selfless innings from both players, both being denied a century, but one which both players look back on with great pride.
Not sure I was wanting to know the answer to this, I asked him what were his memories (if any) on the recent tour….
“Eating a kebab off Katie Price’s car; being in the nightclub “Fever” with four VKs; having to put up with Homer’s snoring, playing a game of Buckeroo on his chest to try and wake him up”.
Well I did ask.