Geoff Smith - The Development Of English Blind Cricket And The International Game

On this episode of Noisy Balls, I spoke with English blind cricket legend Jeff Smith, where we discussed English blind cricket and the part he played in developing both the local and international game.

On episode 12 of Noisy Balls, I had an inspiring chat with a legend of the English game, Geoff Smith.

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.

Geoff won the National League title and the BBS Cup during his playing career, doing so on many occasions. Geoff was a talented wicketkeeper batsman and played many internationals for Blind Cricket England And Wales.

After Geoff was inducted into the blind cricket hall of fame, he stated “I have such wonderful recollections 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 carrier 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.”

Thanks to Geoff for such an insightful chat and I appreciate you taking the time to pop on to this episode of the show.

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