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Northwood and Smith inducted to Blind Cricket Hall of Fame

9th November 2017

Geoff Smith with his Hall of Fame award

Miles Northwood and Geoff Smith have been inducted into the Blind Cricket Hall of Fame. Smith was inducted at the BCEW Brian Johnston Memorial Trust Development Festival, with Northwood following a week later at BCEW David Townley Memorial Twenty20 Cup Finals Day.

Both Miles and Geoff played multiple internationals for the England Blind Cricket Team as well as holding several committee roles.

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2017 Inductees Former Committee Roles

Miles Northwood
BBS Cricket International Secretary
BCEW International Director
BCEW Fundraising & Publicity Director

Geoff Smith
BBS Cricket General Secretary
BCEW General Secretary
BCEW Technical Director
World Blind Cricket Council President
World Blind Cricket Council General Secretary
World Blind Cricket Council Treasurer
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Geoff played a massive role in the agreement for the BBS Primary Club Cup Final to be played at the Nursery Ground at Lords, an arrangement that ran from 1992 until 2008. Most of his playing career was for London Metro and for Sussex Sharks, he played a big part in starting the latter club.

Miles managed to secure some excellent grounds for the England Blind Cricket Team to play international matches at during his time as International Director, including New Road in Worcester & Sussex’s County ground in Hove. Miles mainly played for White Rose, Eastern Vipers and Sussex Sharks after leaving New College Worcester.

Both Miles and Geoff won the National League title and the BBS Cup during their playing careers, Geoff doing so on many occasions. Geoff was a talented wicketkeeper batsman where as Miles was a genuine batting and bowling all rounder.

BCEW Vice Chairman, Business & Competitions Director Dave Gavrilovic commented: “Miles has had a superb playing career as a genuine all rounder capable of big scores with the bat, wickets with the ball and he took some quality catches too. Geoff had as big a role off the field as on it and even after retiring from playing he has assisted John Garbett with development work to help grow the game. Both men are extremely worthy inductees into the Hall of Fame.”.

After his induction Miles commented: “It feels strange cricket thanking me, when it should be me thanking cricket for all the fantastic opportunities, not to mention fun and laughs it has given me over the last 30 years. I would like to thank New College Worcester and specifically Clive Spencer, my old PE teacher, for giving me my first opportunity to play competitive cricket.

I would also like to thank British Blind Sport for arranging the annual knockout cup which is the longest running annual disability cricket competition in the world, in which I first played when I was 15. I would also like to thank them for giving me my first committee position and giving me a taste of and insight in to the massive amount of organisational work that goes on behind the scenes.

I would further like to thank BCEW and the world Blind Cricket Council for allowing me to continue and develop my off the field work. It is the experience I gathered fundraising and event organising with BBS, BCEW, WBCC and the ECB that enabled me to successfully apply for my current Job fundraising for guide dogs.

On the field it has been my great pleasure to play for and captain new college Worcester in my time there, and then for White Rose, Eastern Vipers and Sussex Sharks. In this time I also had the honour and privilege of playing for my country for 10 years from 1998 to 2008. Those 10 years included three world cups and two victorious Ashes series’.

Thanks to Cricket I have had the opportunity to see places in the world that in all likelihood I would never have seen without it. I have travelled to the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia. I owe so much to Cricket and all the organisational bodies behind it in so many ways. I have made so many fantastic friends two of the best of which, David Townley and Heindrich Swanepoel sadly are no longer with us but are with me always. So thank you, thank you, thank you to the current BCEW committee for honouring me in this way, but truly, the honour and the thanks are all mine and I very much hope to be back playing again next year after three seasons away.”

Geoff said of his induction: “I have some of the same great recollections as Miles about my playing days. It’s right that I was as much involved off the field as on it. As WBCC General Secretary I wrote the Core Documents (governing rules and playing rules etc) for WBCC with some help from ICC (when they were still based at Lord's). I took over from Tony Hegarty who handed me a carier bag with his collection of bits of paper when I was elected General Secretary in New Delhi in January 2002.

The best working period for me as an official was with Tim Guttridge and Peter Donovan when I was General Sec, they were both very good and very easy to work with. My best playing moment for England was helping to get us home for our first victory against Pakistan in 2002. When I went in we needed 26 off 19 balls, amazingly and despite my ever present nerves, I hit my first ball for four! This surprised everyone especially me. We beat them twice that year an they went on to be world champions at the Chennai World Cup.

I played for thirty years, my favourite colleagues and friends were Heindrich, David Samuels and John Garbett.”

To view all the inductees into the Blind Cricket Hall of Fame, click on this link.

Miles Northwood with his Hall of Fame award