James Crooks

 

In a short but effective career, James has built up a substantial standing within the Club both on and off the field. On the field, having announced himself in 2015 with a belligerent innings against the staff in a warm-up T20 match, we took note of his self-described status as wicket keeper/batsman by having him bowl regularly. Although he began his Staff career as an off-spinner, he may now be seen tormenting good batsmen with his gentle-but-accurate medium pace. From early on James showed a knack for picking up important wickets and his contributions with the ball have seen St Andrews overcome several bogey sides over the years. His accomplishments with the bat, however, have been even more substantial. Earlier this season, James became the fastest player in club history to reach 2000 runs, doing so in only 52 innings at an average above 60. This includes a century in each of his four years – only some of which were scored against very small, tired children – perhaps the best of which was his 100* off 91 deliveries on C1 to lead an under-strength StAUSCC side to victory over Forfarshire. A good fielder and reliable pair of hands (provided there is some cloud-cover), James’ on-field contribution to the side has been as significant as any other’s in the last 5 years.

Off the field, James took on various leadership roles within the club – some of which he was even elected to! He encouraged regular practice sessions and even attempted to institute training drills. James has also significantly improved the communication with the University Clubs. His relationship with the University Cricket Club has led to a number of new members over recent years, and while his arrangements with the University Rugby Club have been more of a personal nature, he’s also made strides to get the Club much better known locally, with links to Madras Hockey amongst others.

An effective leader on and off the field, James filled the captaincy void last year after the departure of long-term skipper Dom. This year he returns to the side for yet another ‘final’ season and although he has a number of milestones still to check off, his greatest hurdle in the 2019 season will surely be his rematch with the wall at Freuchie.