Some of us have been spending our time in lockdown by compiling the best Littlehampton Cricket team of our era. But looking at the list below of Overseas’ Players that have played for the Club over the years since Todd McKenzie became our first “import” in 1984, the best eleven would have been capable of beating every Premier League Club. In alphabetical order, but excluding Sussex CCC staff players, the statistics shown have only taken into account the individual performances of overseas players. Unfortunately the various “Top Tens” that I compiled and updated over the years and the annual averages and updated career averages seemed to have become lost in the transition between the old LCC website and the new website. This is regrettable as there would have been some useful comparisons to be made. I hope that I have included all the Players; might have missed some; and also “invented” some.
Kyle Abrahams – South Africa. He joined the Club during the same season – 2008 - that Gus Webster was the official overseas player and played most of his games in the 3rd XI. He scored a total of 1144 runs for the Club at 45.76 with a top score of 161* vs Horsley and Send CC.
Chris Cooke - (wicket keeper & r/h batsman) – 1st Class Western Province CC, South Africa; Glamorgan CCC (Captain) and Hampshire CCC 2nd XI. Top scoring Littlehampton batsman in 2005 with 1023 runs and top Littlehampton wicket-keeper in the same year with 26 catches and 11 stumpings. He also scored the most 1st XI League runs for Littlehampton in 2005 with 578 runs. He was the Littlehampton 1st XI best wicket keeper in 2005 with 19 catches and 6 stumpings. He was given the Club’s Fielder of the Year Award in 2006. He also became the second Littlehampton to score 34 in an over in a Sunday game against Storrington – retiring on 131*. Probably one of the three best overseas players to represent Littlehampton CC.
Bob Dillon - (r/h batsman) – Nambour CC, Queensland and Arundel CC. Highest score 174* vs Weymouth on Littlehampton CC tour in 1994. Top scoring Littlehampton batsman in 1992 with 899 runs. I met Bob Dillon whilst playing just outside of Newcastle, Queensland and with the help of Bill Lock we persuaded him to join the Club. A few years later he married the daughter of Raymond ‘Rocker’ Chitty from Arundel.
Anton Emslie - (r/h batsman) – Boland U23 and Grahamstown CC, South Africa. Top scoring Littlehampton batsman with 923 runs in 1986 and top Littlehampton wicket-keeper in 1986 with 16 catches and 5 stumpings. He also scored the most Littlehampton 1st XI League runs in 1986 with 480 runs. Anton was one of four South Africans who played for Littlehampton CC in 1986 – he took Stuart Keevy’s place after Stuart’s motor cycle accident delayed his arrival.
Gautam Gopal - (r/h batsman and wicket keeper) – 1st Class Orissa; Rajasthan CC; Madras CC, India. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 2001 with 929 runs and also the top Littlehampton wicket-keeper in the same year with 16 catches and 5 stumpings. He also scored the most Littlehampton 1st XI League runs in 2001 with 763 runs which is the highest number of runs for the Littlehampton 1st XI in a season by an overseas player. He was the Littlehampton 1st XI top wicket keeper in 2001 with 16 catches and 5 stumpings. He had an agent who wanted to make sure that the monetary element of his contract was as high as possible. But I think we got the best deal. As fare as I can recollect, Gautam was the only overseas player that came to Littlehampton CC as a professional player.
Amit Gupta - (r/h batsman & r/a medium fast) – Paragon CC, Delhi and Delhi Development Team. Highest individual score for any Littlehampton batsman with 277* against New Calypsonians in August 2007. Top run scorer for Littlehampton in 2007 with 1004 runs at 41.83. His top League score was 109 against St. James Montefiore. Amit became our overseas player as part of the development programme for youth cricket agreed with Rajiv Malhotra, Coach of the National Cricket Academy for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Steve Hawkins – (r/h batsman) – Australia. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 1987 with 1111 runs. He also scored the most 1st XI League runs for Littlehampton in 1987 with 405 runs. Took most outfield catches for Littlehampton with 19 in the same year. Stayed with Malcom Lock - enough said.
Johann van Heerden - (r/h batsman & r/a fast) – 1st Class Orange Free State, South Africa. Currently Chief Executive Officer of the Free State Cricket Union. Highest Littlehampton score 155 runs in 1988. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 1988 with 1129 runs and top Littlehampton wicket keeper in the same year with 55 wickets. He also scored the most Littlehampton 1st XI League runs in 1988 with 450 runs and also took the most wickets in Littlehampton 1st XI League cricket in the same season, 1988, with 39 wickets. Thanks to Peter Graves for arranging this overseas player. Perhaps one of the three best cricketers and club man that we have had from abroad.
Anthony Jones - (r/h batsman and r/a leg spin) – Perth, Australia. He scored the most Littlehampton 1st XI League runs in 2002 with 614 runs. Took most outfield catches for Littlehampton with 20 in the same year and also took 11 outfield League catches for the Littlehampton 1st XI in the same year.
Stuart Keevy - (r/h batsman & r/h off spin) – 1st Class Eastern Province, South Africa. Was to be the first choice overseas player in 1986 but had a serious motor cycle accident which delayed his arrival and Anton Emslie took Stuart’s place. Stuart played for the 2nd XI and topped the batting with 293 runs at 73.25.
Danie Keulder - (r/h batsman & r/h off spin) – 1st Class Namibia (Captain). Three times Man of the Match for Namibia. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 1996 with 940 runs. Took most outfield catches for Littlehampton with 24 in the same year and also took 7 outfield League catches for the Littlehampton 1st XI in the same year. Assistant to the Sportsfield Groundsman during his stay. Another of the top three best overseas players to play for Littlehampton.
Wayne Keys - (r/h batsman & r/a medium fast) – South Africa Country Districts. Another of the South Africans who arrived in 1986.
Gideon Langner – (batsman) – Durbanville CC, Capetown, South Africa. Played for Littlehampton CC in 2004; scored 545 runs at 32.06 and his top score of 104* was against Broadwater.
Craig Light - (r/h batsman & r/a off spin) – 1st Class Free State – one time Man of the Match; Griqualand West – three times Man of the Match; North West; Orange Free State, South Africa. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 1993 with 1025 runs. He also scored the most Littlehampton 1st XI League runs in 1993 with 436 runs. Took most outfield catches for Littlehampton League 1st XI with 11 in the same year. He scored 34 in an over against Stirlands. Also played in the Lancashire League for Worsley and in the Scottish League for West Lothian. Craig joined the Club in 1993 when the UK Government were making it very difficult to secure overseas players. Craig was advised not to bring any cricket gear with him and to explain that he was on holiday for six months – not to mention his First Class status nor that he would be playing cricket. Ken Chapman and me met him at Heathrow and wondered why, several hours later, why he had not come through arrivals. Several enquiries revealed that he had been held up in Immigration. He come through Immigration wearing an Orange Free State cricket sweater, cricket boots in his bag and incorrectly answered the question – “Will you be playing cricket?” He was given a 48 hour visa to stay. For the next two days I spoke with Ali Bacher, Managing Director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, also with the Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke but the person who swung thins in our favour was our local MP, Sir Michael Marshall. Our MP had captained the Lords and Commons Cricket XI and was a member of the MCC. A few hours before the deadline for deporting Craig, Sir Michael telephoned to say that a six month visa had been granted. He was the first player to score 34 in an over against Stirlands – probably in a League match.
Marshall Lodder - (r/h batsman) – Western Province, South Africa. He scored the most Littlehampton 1st XI League runs in 1989 with a total of 536 runs.
Todd McKenzie - (r/h batsman) – Western Australia Public Schools Tour to UK 1983 (including Tom Moody) Australia and invited to join the Club by Frank Clarke (Glamorgan CCC) our Coach at the time. He became the first Littlehampton CC overseas player. Todd partnered Ian Wadey in achieving the highest Littlehampton 2nd wicket partnership of 207 against East Preston in June 1985. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 1985 with 812 runs.
Andy Northcote – (wicket keeper; r/h batsman &r/a off spin) First Class - Western Province, South Africa; Italy National side & Essex CCC 2nd XI. Co-ordinator for the Under 19’s in Western Province under Paul Phillipson, formerly of Sussex CCC. He scored 608 runs at 26.43 and was the top Littlehampton wicket-keeper in 2003 with 26 catches and 10 stumpings. He was the Littlehampton 1st XI top wicket keeper in 2003 with 23 catches and 8 stumpings.
Shaun O’Shea - (r/h batsman & r/h medium fast) – Riverton CC, Australia. Grade A bowler. Top Littlehampton bowler in 2003 with 76 wickets and this is the highest number of wickets taken in a season by any Littlehampton overseas player. He was the Club’s second string overseas player in 2003 (Andy Northcote was the first choice) and because of the League restrictions could only play for the Littlehampton League 3rd XI where he scored 678 runs and took 35 wickets in 2003. Took most outfield catches for Littlehampton with 13 in the same year.
Nicolaas (Nico) Pretorius - (r/h/batsman & r/a fast medium) – First Class Free State & Orange Free State, South Africa
Michael (Mike) Riley - (batter) – South Africa. His father was a Springbok. Mike was one of the four South Africans we had in 1986. I am sure that, at one time, all four South Africans stayed with Bill and Dawn Lock.
Siya Sibiya - (r/h batsman & r/a medium fast) – First Class Boland; Western Province, South Africa. Top Littlehampton run scorer in 2006 with 1251 runs at 44.68 and this is the highest season’s total by any Littlehampton overseas player. He also took 42 wickets at 15.07 – best 5 for 12 vs Lynchmere CC. I met him when the Sussex Golden Oldies were playing against a Western Province XI. He bowled and batted well and came to us on an exchange basis arranged through Paul Phillipson.
Alan Singer – 1st Grade for Perth, Australia. Played for Littlehampton CCC in 1999 and 2000. He scored 293 runs in 1999 at 36.63 and 459 runs in 2000 at 57.38.
Ben Smith – (r/h batsman; r/a off breaks and w/k) New Zealand. Played for the Club in 2009. He travelled to the UK on a youth mobility visa and agreed to assist in coaching the colts. Scored 789 runs at 49.31 with a top score of 115 vs Newdigate CC.
Angus (Gus) Webster – Perth. Played for the Club in 2008. Top scored against Disco’s XI with 144* and a League century against Sidley with 133*.
Gus scored a total of 769 runs at 51.27.
Brett Williams - (r/a/batsman & l/a spin bowler) – First Class Wellington CC, New Zealand – Man of the Match on one occasion. He also played for the Sussex CCC 2nd. Played for Littlehampton CC in 1991.
Gareth Wyley - (batsman/wicket keeper) – Claremont CC and Constantia CC, South Africa. I met his father when I played at Claremont CC and he recommended his son. He was the Littlehampton 1st XI top League wicket keeper in 2000 with 8 catches and 8 stumpings. I believe he returned to South Africa leaving a massive unpaid telephone bill with an Arundel lady where he lodged. I am sure that the Club had to settle the bill.
Players who had agreed to be overseas players with Littlehampton CC included –
Hansie Cronje - (r/h batsman & r/h slow bowler). Orange Free State & Captain of South Africa. Could not defer his University place to join Littlehampton CC.
Adam Parore - (Wicket keeper & r/h batsman). Auckland; Northern Districts & New Zealand Test cricketer – called up to the New Zealand Test team just before the first game for Littlehampton.
Littlehampton CC have had some quality overseas players and the contact that I had with Paul Phillipson (Sussex CCC) and Director of Coaching for Western Province Cricket in South Africa and Peter Graves (Sussex CCC) who played for the Orange Free State during the English winter was an invaluable help. It was always difficult with immigration laws to secure overseas players but the arrangement with the South African players was always relatively easy. Players from India always wanted a legally written contract which covered everything but especially how much they were going to earn!! The problem that was continuous with the Club was finding a family or individual who was prepared to give the overseas players board and accommodation. Also, most overseas players wanted to earn some pocket money; that was also difficult to achieve. Other Clubs seemed to have no problems with accommodation and jobs found.