Cricket in New Zealand, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Notts and France -(will travel)

Phil Cooper

Phil Cooper HistoricTravelTalks
East Midlands
Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
U3A, Rotary, Probus, Schools
24th March 2018
Cricket | New Zealand | Cricket Coaching | Scottish Cricket

There are not many cricket talks on this site, so I am more than willing to travel, providing it is expensed. I dont intend to talk too much particularly about myself, but many incidents, some amusing which occurred while I was playing and coaching, which adds to my story.

My own background involved coaching and playing league cricket. I was fortunate enough to break the batting record in the strong Bassetlaw League in North Notts, which proved to be a stepping stone.

I arrived in Scotland just after Kim Hughes and the like had played in Scotland, at the age of 31. I coached at Glasgow Academy and played for the “Accies” (shown in the photo). Sometimes I played against test players such as Brendon Bracewell(NZ), Asif Mujtaba (Pakistan) and Nehemiah Odolphus Perry (West Indies). It was pleasing to see many youngsters continue to play, Douglas Lockhart carried on to play for Scotland. Needless to say there were many frustrations and along the way many amusing incidents.

My first job was a season in Amsterdam, where South African Hilton Ackerman played nearby. He liked a good night out and when playing for the Rest of the World opened the batting against DK Lillee, after a Christmas Day party!!!

During the winter I mainly travelled to coach in New Zealand, initially in Wanganui and I was pleased to leave them with players who went on to play first class cricket and in one case test cricket. Fast bowlers seem to gather stories and that could certainly be said about Mike Gill, who played first class cricket for Central Districts. We were regaled by accounts of whom he had hit and the consequences!

During one season I coached in South Africa. The schools there are excellent and it was pleasing to come across a young Jaques Kallis and Aubrey Martyn, who also went on to play for South Africa.

I suppose I have always had a taste for the off beat and so I did some voluntary coaching in France. This resulted in me being volunteered to coach a local Frenchman, who was a sportsman, but had never played cricket – for a cable TV programme!

I hope that people might find the mix of accounts relating to cricket and the goings off which surround my cricket career of interest. Oh and I must mention a visit to India.

Views: 279 | Enquiries: 2

About Phil Cooper

I have accumulated what I feel are good photographs to illustrate my talks which relate to my travel experience. These are to places, often with a historical background and often not readily visited. These include Syria and Jordan, the Silk Road in Central Asia and Western China,, India, Cuba and Peru.

“Great presentation – I spoke to people tonight they were the cleanest photos seen at a Travel Club Presentation. Very good 9 out of 10. It must have been good, hardly anyone dropped off to sleep!” (Taradale Travel Club New Zealand).

My blog site is (Copy and paste)

The last trip I undertook was to Northern India and the wildlife reserves in Assam, such as Kaziranga, where there is a large variety of wildlife, including the vulnerable One Horned Rhino. This is the basis of a talk which was well received at Havelock North Rotary Club, Hawkes Bay New Zealand in February 2018.

I look back at my trip in the Middle East - from Cairo to Istanbul and reflect on what I saw then and what I see currently in places like Aleppo. However the highlight for me was the crusader fortress of Krak des Chevaliers, which is shown on the photo I have included. This was described by TE Lawrence as "perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world". Indeed he associated with many places along this journey.

I research the topics thoroughly and I provide a narrative and background to illustrated talks. I operate on a voluntary basis and am prepared to travel within reasonable distances from my home in North Nottinghamshire.

 Along the Silk Road in Central Asia Talk Feedback

This part of Central Asia included in particular Kunya Urgench, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The buildings are simply stunning and the area is historically very interesting. It is the arena where the Great Game was played out, the political and diplomatic confrontation between Britain and Russia in the 19th century, which was described by one of the audience as fascinating.

"Very interesting talk. I could hear every word. I knew nothing about this area and learnt a lot. Pleased I came!!"

“Your talk was extremely interesting and I do believe, if you had spoken for much longer   everyone should enjoy it, and no-one would be bored. I did like the aspect that you kept referring to the map when relating to the history this indeed helps when discussing reasons and timings when situations occurred in the distant past. I also feel that your talk appeals to almost all  age groups, and both male and female.”

I am a former graduate Biology teacher and also coached cricket for 24 seasons. mainly in New Zealand,Scotland and Amsterdam. as a professional.

I currently spend the early part of the year in New Zealand (mainly January and February) and I have delivered several talks, often in New Zealand, which of course I also have an extensive knowledge of having visited the country 14 times. This would be another option, but i suspect many have already visited this wonderful country.

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