Published: 5th December, 2017
Former Surrey batsman David Smith has been appointed President of Surrey club Mitcham CC – who play at the oldest continuously used cricket ground in the world.
Smith, 61, takes over from Pat Batty, who has served Mitcham as President since 1990 – part of a 67-year active association with the club.
A popular opening batsman, Smith played 169 times for Surrey between 1973 and 1988, with a three year stint at Worcestershire sandwiched in between from 1984 to 1986. He eventually ended his career at Sussex, who he represented from 1989 to 1994. As well as his domestic career, Smith played two Tests and two One Day Internationals for England.
Originally a Mitcham player himself, Smith joined some of Surrey greatest ever players including Bert Strudwick, Andy Sandham and Tom Richardson in completing the journey from Mitcham to the Test arena. This list also includes James Southerton, who played in the first ever Test Match, at the MCG in Melbourne in 1877.
Commenting on his new role in Mitcham, Smith said: “For me it is a great honour to be asked to take on this role at such an iconic cricket club. I will do my best to carry on the great work that Pat Batty has achieved over many years and endeavour to bring the club back to its past glories.”
In honour of his contribution to the club, Members of Mitcham CC presented Batty with a copy of Wisden from 1896 to add to his personal collection. He made his debut for the club in 1950, aged 13, going onto captain the First XI for fifteen years, during which Mitcham won the Surrey Championship on four occasions. He played for the club regularly until 1990 and still watches most First XI games today.
Commenting on his service, Batty simply said: “To have been associated with Mitcham CC has been a marvellous experience and a major part of my life – something to be much cherished.”
Mitcham CC was a founding member of the Surrey Championship and currently boasts three men’s teams, three junior teams and a new Ladies squad.
As well as playing on the oldest continuously used ground in the world, it is also famous for being the site of the largest six ever hit, when a ball was struck that landed on the top deck of a double decker bus and ended up in Banstead!