Can we get Piers Morgan to present new Sussex cricket tea trophy?
A Sussex stalwart is celebrating the reversal of the cricket teas vote by offering up a new trophy - and he wants Piers Morgan involved.
Paul ‘Doughy’ Baker is offering up an eponymous trophy to the best cricketing tea in Sussex from 2021 onwards - and says it will be his ‘lasting legacy’ to the Sussex Cricket League.
At the league’s AGM, a proposal to remove the obligation to provide cricket teas was voted in - but because of the way the voting was done, there was a re-vote held by email this week.
And the proposal was defeated when 114 of 209 possible votes were against the proposal.
SEE ALSO Proposal to remove obligation to provide cricket teas is DEFEATED in re-vote | Cricket teas: Horsted Keynes CC vow to continue important tradition and other clubs join 'Rebel Teas' plan | Cricket teas aren't banned - but we have to move with the times
Piers Morgan was one of the many people around the country who were dismayed by the original vote and yesterday, after the re-vote was revealed, tweeted: “Victory for Common sense.”
And now clubs can aim for a new trophy - The Paul ‘Doughy’ Baker Trophy.
Baker is well known in Sussex cricketing circles. He played in the league’s first ever season for Horsham Cricket Cricket Club in 1971. They won the competition in 1976 and Baker retired in 1990.
He is now one of the top umpires.
He said: “I have emailed the SCL website with my offer. The new Paul 'Doughy' Baker Trophy will be presented to the SCL Club providing the finest teas from 2021 onwards.
“It will be a lasting legacy from me to the SCL. Whilst I was ambivalent regarding the result of the AGM vote, I was horrified at the flawed voting procedure.”
Baker, who has won more SCL playing titles at Horsham Cricket Club than anyone else, was elected onto the first SCL Exec Committee having been the Horsham CC delegate for years.
He said: “The only grounds in the top three divisions I have neither played on nor umpired at are Chichester - Goodwood, been to the old ground too many times -, Broadwater and Portslade.
“I reckon I have been to just about every other SCL ground in the top 4 divisions.”
And from that experience, what are Doughy’s thoughts on teas generally?
He said: “My surname lends itself to such a coveted prize doesn’t it?
“Too many clubs just supply ordinary food with shop bought cake, budget thin slices of flavourless bread and all devoid of imagination.
"In some clubs, you should only eat food which you can unwrap yourself.”
But he did pick out a couple of grounds that have impressed him recently.
He said: “Mayfield and Goring are the best I have had in recent years. Roffey is probably up there but I have not been there for three seasons.
“You want quality freshly-prepared fayre, not yesterday’s leftovers.”
And now Baker wants the likes of GMB presenter Morgan, Michael Vaughan and Henry Blofeld to be involved - as they voiced their outrage when the first vote was cast.
Baker said: “A shortlist which would be obvious could be drawn up from learned umpires’ knowledge before a final judgement panel is appointed.
“Piers Morgan, Michael Vaughan and Henry Blofeld were particularly damning in the media so I shall personally invite them all to be involved.
"How wonderful would it be for the trophy to be presented by Piers Morgan live on Good Morning Britain?"
Baker also said it might involve a cash prize but added other tongue-in-cheek incentive ideas. “The winner of the trophy will qualify for automatic promotion subject to ground standards and the club with the worst will be expelled.”