Stalwart Mick salutes Norfolk League

One of the first captains to taste Norfolk Cricket League success has saluted the role the league has played in helping clubs to develop.

Mick Kinnair took Loddon into the league in 1974, captaining them to the Division Three title in their first season.

In 1985 he set Hales on a Norfolk League journey which saw them win the league in 2007 and progress to the Norfolk Alliance where they now reside in Division One.

Mick, who played local cricket for 40 years, and is best known as a dogged batsman and slow bowler, gave up playing at the age of 55.

“It was the right time. I wanted to concentrate on helping to run the club.”

He served on the Norfolk League committee for 20 years from 1974, and his many club roles have included serving as Hales chairman, groundsman and fixture secretary. He also formed an A team at the club as well as the first youth league of its kind in the county.

Now at 72, he can take more of a backseat.

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“I have virtually done every job there is to do. I have lived and loved cricket. It’s been a big a part of my life,” he said. “When I look back it makes me wonder how I had the time to do it all and hold down a full time job. It was not easy doing the Hales ground because it had football on it and I used to have about three weeks to get it ready.”

Mick, who lives at Chedgrave, now spends time taking his grandsons Alex and Sam to training and matches and is hoping that they can derive as much pleasure from the game as he did.

He is delighted to see the progress being made by the Hales club, which merged with his old club Loddon this season. “It’s been amazing over the last 15 years. You would never have dreamt that they would go from Norfolk League Division Four into the Alliance Division One and establish the facilities they have now got.”

The Norfolk League can rightly take a lot of credit for the way things have panned out. “I think it has been very successful. In the early days there was a bit of animosity because the Alliance was seen as a closed shop but since it has been opened up and teams can move up though the Divisions it has been good for Norfolk cricket. “Teams like Old Buckenham and Swardeston started in the Norfolk League and have gone on to bigger things.”