No dibbly-dobblys please

The Civil Service Sports Council is looking for Royal Mail cricketers – are you game?

The Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) is a not-for-profit membership organisation, providing a wealth of sports and leisure opportunities for civil servants and public sector workers.

Comprising more than 160,000 members, the CSSC is open to anyone who is a past CSSC member, a current employee in the public sector or Royal Mail, BT, or companies carrying out ex-civil service work. Click here for a full list of eligible employers.

CSSC Hon Secretary Michael Mainon, said: ‘The Civil Service Sports Council are currently looking for players for our representative cricket side for 2021. We’ll be playing the Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and MCC.

‘All fixtures take place mid-week to avoid weekend club cricket. If you are interested, please contact me via email at secretary.cricket@csscvolunteer.co.uk.’

A potted history

The Civil Service emerged following the First World War with greatly enlarged responsibility and a corresponding increase in size. This new-found strength coupled with the recruitment of large numbers of staff led to demands for better sporting and recreational facilities.

An ally at the top of the tree was found in Sir Warren Fisher who had become permanent head of the Civil Service. He saw the service as on a par with the armed forces of the Crown and sport, in particular, as being a great way to develop the necessary esprit de corps.

‘The vital impetus came from four men – CD Howard of the Post Office, RR Cox, Noel Curtis Bennett and GH Barson, who following a meeting at Central Hall Westminster on 4 November 1921, formed the Civil Service Sports Council,’ said Michael Mainon. ‘The rest, as they say, is history.

‘The following year, the Civil Service Cricket Association (CSCA) was formed and they played their first representative match versus the Royal Air Force and won!

‘The visit of the Australian touring side to the UK is always looked forward to by cricket fans and none more so than in 1926 – a tour made even more special as the Civil Service played the Australians. Playing touring sides continued in 1927 against New Zealand and the West Indies in 1928.

‘To this day, we still play representative cricket matches. We also hold an inter area/departmental competition called the Curtis Bennett Shield. This is competed for annually by CSSC members in local area and departments, all with a common goal – playing and enjoying cricket. If you would like to enter a team in the 2022 competition, please get in touch at secretary.cricket@csscvolunteer.co.uk.’

Pictured is the representative side versus the Royal Air Force at Wokingham.

23 Feb 2021