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Former North Runcton stalwart selects Keith Rudd as his fastest bowler

Our fastest bowler feature in the Lynn News on Friday, May 29 received lots of response.

The debate rumbles on after our cricket correspondent Jeremy Cameron put forward Colin Dye and Matty Darlow as his picks.

Former Narborough, North Runcton and Norfolk cricketer Phil Ringwood emailed in to say: “I read your article” Who was West Norfolk’s fastest bowler” with great interest.

Kings Lynn FC vs Droylsden. Keith Rudd(left) recieves a life membership award from chairman Ken Bobbins.. (36608842)
Kings Lynn FC vs Droylsden. Keith Rudd(left) recieves a life membership award from chairman Ken Bobbins.. (36608842)

“I was fortunate as I feel Ian Bix was to be brought up playing village cricket for Narborough in my case and Hillington and Flitcham for Ian.

“All the cricketers mentioned in your article I have either played against or with for Narborough or North Runcton where I moved to around 1970 Ian followed shortly afterwards.

“I can remember Moke Petch ,Geoff Parnell and Colin Dye and all the others you have mentioned.

“Other names I would include are: Paul Bowman and Colin Coombes, from Bircham, Donny Hill, who played for Narborough and Ian Slegg who played for Rudham and Fakenham

“From slightly further afield but two clubs Narborough played against regularly in friendlies and 20 over cup competitions Pat Ashman from Saham Toney

“And a gentleman whose christian name I cannot remember, I believe his surname was Foreman who played for Bradenham, Jeremy Thompson who played for West Norfolk and North Elmham.

“As your article states they all had their own attributes. Some were fast and furious and difficult to face not knowing what to expect.

“The likes of Ian Mason and Rodney Bunting were able to produce extra bounce.

“David Manning and Jeremy Thompson had slingy actions not unlike Jefff Thompson the Australian fast bowler who terrorised England and came onto you very quickly.

“Colin Dye, Ralph Wells and Charlie Wright all had genuine pace but were very accurate and consistent rarely giving you a bad ball to hit.

“It was interesting to see you describe Ian Bix as sharp, I can assure you in comparison to many you mention he was medium pace but never the less an excellent bowler.

“The major difference I found when moving to North Runcton was the standard of the wickets, you could play the fast bowlers with a lot more confidence knowing the bounce was even and not going to rare of a length or shoot along the ground.

“In answer to your Question “ Who is West Norfolks fastest bowler” my feelings are, despite Rodney Bunting playing First Class Cricket and Martin Saggers playing for England, on his day Keith Rudd, who bowled some very quick and hostile spells for North Runcton and Norfolk, takes the accolade.”

Ian Mason, one of the nominees for the fastest bowler award also got in touch with the Lynn News.

Mr Mason said: “I was honoured to be mentioned in the “quick list” and it brought back happy memories of all the years I played local cricket, my favourite being the 20-20 midweek matches often finished in the dark.

“Whilst bowlers and batsmen won fame in the press it never gets mentioned that the real heroes were the captains and groundsmen.

“A captain would have to make at least six changes to his original selection due to work commitments and personal arrangements changing and would often start the Saturday morning ring round with only eight names on the team sheet, but they always had 11 by 2pm.

“For that reason I would nominate Richard Joplin and Paul Hooton as my two stars of the 40 years I have played.

“Both came from Castle Acre and epitomised grass root cricket, they made it fun and treated every game like the first day of an Ashes series, real heroes.

“For what its worth, I thought Andy Whitwood (Lexham and West Acre) was the hardest to score against and nobody hit the ball harder than Mark Osborne (Dersingham).

“Also, if you had five third men and four fine legs you could restrict Bob Riches to a low score - a fine player as he was.”

Next week we investigate two of the slowest bowlers who plied their trade.

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