By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
TORQUAY CC scorer Nick Evanson has been booked to officiate the tournament opener in the second edition of The Hundred at The Ageas Bowl between inaugural champions Southern Brave and Welsh Fire on August 3.
Evanson has been scoring Torquay’s league games since 1989 and during that time has clocked up more than 600 consecutive appearances in the scorebox. His commitment to Torquay and scoring was recognised with an Outstanding Service to Cricket Award – an OSCA – from the Devon Cricket Board in 2016.
As a member of the Association of Cricket Officials, Evanson can and does ask for appointments go other matches. Previous prestige games he has scored include an under-19 international between England and India, games for MCC and Worcestershire 2nd XI and acting as Duckworth-Lewis manager at Lord’s for a one-day game between Middlesex and Glamorgan.
Torquay always comes first for Evanson, a 50-year-old civil servant, which has restricted his opportunities higher up the cricketing ladder.
Having put his name forward for a handful of games this season, the one he got is impressive.
“If you have to only get one match, the tournament opener involving the champions isn’t a bad one,” said Evanson.
On show for Southern Brave will be World Cup hero Jofra Archer (if fit) and the main international cavalry will be Quinton de Kock and Marcus Stoinis supported by Tim David.
From closer to home there are North Devon’s Craig Overton and journeyman pro Jake Lintott.
As for Welsh Fire there will be World Cup winner Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope. Adam Zampas and David Miller will be leading the international cavalry aided by Naseem Shah. Somerset’s rising star Tom Banton is also on board.
Due to the Commonwealth Games, Evanson won’t have the opportunity to score a corresponding match in the ladies tournament.
White-ball cricket is not everyone’s cup of tea – and the format of The Hundred has divided opinion from the start.
Said Evanson: “Well it is different and certainly not for the purist, but I certainly wouldn’t refuse to call it cricket, unlike Jim Swanton when one-day cricket first emerged he called it ‘snicket.’
“We won’t see the benefits when it comes to participation for a few years just like any new initiative.”
One player who did benefit from The Hundred last summer was Torquay fast bowler Sonny Baker, who is on the staff at Somerset. When the stars were drafted to Hundred franchises, Baker got a chance in Royal London one-day cricket.
“Would our very own Sonny Baker have played in the RLODC last season but for The Hundred?” said Evanson.