The Rt Hon the Baroness Prashar of Runnymede CBE

50-Year Anniversary of Kensington Cricket Club

Congratulations to Kensington Cricket Club and to all its members for scoring half a century with such grace and dedication.

Kensington CC, which was a small acorn, has grown into an oak tree. Oak tree symbolises leadership, courage, wisdom, endurance, steadfastness, generosity, dignity, caring, durability and life itself. The members of this Club encapsulate all these qualities. Their leadership, their vision and their steadfastness deserve our respect, admiration and gratitude. They have made incalculable contribution to lives of individuals, families and the community, and indeed life itself.

This has been a true team effort, both on and off the pitch. Chris Ledger, who has been the Club Captain for the past 25 years, ensured the steady progress of the Club. Anthony Rickard and San Gore have given service beyond the call of duty. Neeraj Nayar’s passion for the Club and his media skills have been a true asset. Navneet Bali not only played cricket for the Club but was instrumental in arranging memorable dinners at the St James’s Court Hotel. Many have helped the Club in kind, but Vera and Harp Matharu have been steadfast supporters.

I would also like to pay a particular tribute to Sunil Amar who has been the backbone of the Club. Over the years I have watched his passion for the game, his perseverance and his organisational acumen with which he has guided the club and given encouragement to young and old alike. He has combined his passion with practical nous to ensure the Club had the necessary resources and was viable. With his inspirational leadership, quiet authority, diplomacy, and sense of humour he has built a strong team of equally talented people, all of whom have made the Club what it is today.

Due to this stability the Club was able to organise enjoyable annual dinners which involved families, friends and outside supporters.

W G Grace’s quote, “A cricketer’s life is a life of splendid freedom, healthy effort, endless variety and delightful fellowship”, sums it up well.

Goodwill, friendship, camaraderie and sense of fun are the hallmarks of Kensington Cricket Club. I am very proud to be this Club’s Patron. I admire its ethos. I have seen generational participation of families which keeps the Club rooted and reinvigorated.

Cricket once was a gentleman’s game. It is now fast becoming a gentlewoman’s game as well. Looking to the future it would be good to see women cricketers emerging too. Keeping vision and aspirations refreshed and taking timely action ensures relevance and sustainability.

May the spirit of fair play continue to thrive. May you all continue to uphold the Club’s principles, rules and joys forever. May the Club continue to flourish and spread its wings to soar even higher.

I wish the Kensington Cricket Club and its devoted members great success for the future. Here’s to the next 50 years!