Nigel Wardropper - Past Player Profiles

11th May 2020

What are your early memories of playing cricket at SN?

I started at SNCC when I was about 8 or 9. I remember not being very good or particularly interested. Interest and improvement didn’t come along until mid-teens. By 16 I was winning Junior player of the year and made my 1st Team debut in 1978 at age 17.

What was the highlights of your playing career at SN?

Personally: Going to Jesmond in 1992 with a weakened bowling attack, bowling 25 overs straight myself from one end with a knackered shoulder and dismissing the top four, all supposed County superstars. Then following up by scoring 70 as we chased down their 180 score. Always fun winning at Jesmond. From a team perspective, it would have to be winning the league in 1988 and playing every single game of that season for the 1st X1, (including cups). 57 games in all for the season! As the first all amateur side to win the leagues for many years (about 25 I think), that was very satisfying, particularly as five core members of the team had all played Under 17’s together back in 1977.

Who did you enjoy playing with at SN the most and why?

Too hard to call. I’ll **** somebody off whoever I say!

Who was your most difficult opponent and why?

In my early career it was anybody who could bowl decent leg spin. I can remember days swishing at fresh air against the likes of Rami Verma, Alan Hardy, Mike Weston. I had no idea which way they were spinning. Got better at it later in my career but for the first five years or so it was embarrassing.

Who was the best (overseas?) player you have seen play at SN?

I would have to say Courtney Walsh. Dismissed three times in one season. Bloody quick, wicked bounce and movement off just short of a length, and a smart bowler to boot. Proudest moment was getting nearly 30 against him up at Tynedale. I only faced him. While DDS dealt with the terrifying Ian Darling (slow medium) at one end, I dealt with Courtney at the other. Over about ten overs we never changed ends. I scored all my runs in twos and fours (it was a ridiculously attacking field, so if you hit it in front of square you got at least a couple). DDS meanwhile played out maiden after maiden at the end.

How has local recreational cricket changed?

Can’t really comment with any authority as the changes came in a couple of years after I retired and moved to Australia. The Premier League does appear to be much more professional than the Northumberland County League was in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s when I played.

What is your favourite post playing moment at SN?

Alan Thompson cght Nigel Wardropper Bwld Nigel Campbell in the John Bradford Memorial game in 2010. It was my first outing onto a cricket field for fifteen years. It was worth travelling all the way from Oz just to see Thompers face!

What are your hopes for SN and local cricket in the future?

That the club thrives and survives, both on the field and off. The club social scene is important and needs to be strong. The Wardroppers have a strong affinity for the place. My mother and father met there in the 50’s and I met my wife, Lesley, there in the early 90’s. 

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