11 seasons on from Tom’s original article….
450 matches, 370 innings, 4300 runs, 471 wickets at an average of just under 20.
The 2005 season marks Ian’s 17th season with the Wood. In that time he has taken 388 wickets (including 212 children) and scored almost 3500 runs. These stats may suggest that he is a multi-talented cricketer, but really what they tell us is that Ian has played a lot of games for the Wood.
He has batted on 281 occasions, and although records are unclear here, it is safe to assume that he must therefore have played nearly 400 games for the club. Since making his debut in 1989 he has batted in at least ten games every season, not allowing work, loss of form, conservatory building, or lack of ability to prevent him turning out for the Wood. In 1993 he bowled an incredible 279.1 overs, although he only bent his back for 0.1 of these overs (probably after being hit for four by a one armed batsman).
Aside from the odd season when Ian really couldn’t be bothered (1998 and 2004), Ian’s bowling stats are surprisingly impressive. He has taken over 30 wickets on six occasions and won the much talked about (by him at least) KVL best bowler award in 1999. His best bowling (9-45) also came during this season, although his stats here are slightly misleading, as the average age of the opposition batsman was 12, and it was Chris South (running uphill) who removed their star player. 2000 was another good season for Ian with the ball, although his stats would be even better if he hadn’t come face to face with his very own Dr. Moriarty, going by the name of ‘Rusty’, in a small field somewhere in Somerset. Indeed Ian’s stats on tour would make interesting reading, and would certainly not be difficult to compile (in the case of his batting at least). A spectacular pair on the 2002 tour remains a career highpoint, if not for Ian, then for most of his watching teammates.
Ian has hit five 50s for the Wood and his stats clearly show that he could do better. When on form (2000/2001) Ian is a valuable middle order batsman, and has won many games shepherding the tail through the inevitable nervous Wood collapse. Of his 281 dismissals, it is safe to assume that at least 240 of these were highly amusing. From the ‘Yes, No, Yes, No, **** it’ exchange with Richard Owen to his ‘controversial’ dismissal for ‘Obstructed the field’ ‘Ninja’ has managed to manufacture some superb ways of getting out. For all his 388 wickets and inspired victories as captain, it is these comic moments that stick in the memory.
Like the young Hollywood actress trying to forget her earlier work in a soft porn flick, Ian will never be able to shake of his past glories. All his teammates know that for every great delivery, or Caribbean drive, there is the possibility of an amusing cock-up. Teammates see the woman coming out to bat, and they know instinctively that she will hit Ian for a one bounce four. The one-armed batsman will be bounced, the kid will receive Ian’s quicker ball. The real story, the glorious moments cannot be told by stats alone.