NOT many experiences make someone north of 50 years old ‘feel like a kid again,’ but leading MCC South out at Lords against MCC North did just that for Islander Ward Jenner.
He captained his side to a win as South chased down a target of 147 set by North with four wickets in hand.
The Jersey cricketer has been a member of Marylebone Cricket Club since the turn of the Millennium but confessed that he thought the chance to play at the famed home of cricket had ‘passed by’.
Jenner had enjoyed seeing his son Jonty play at Lords, firstly for Sussex and later on as 12th man for England, but the feeling of playing there has left another lasting impression.
‘The experience was incredible,’ he said.
‘I have been a member there [MCC] 20 years and had never set foot on the Lords turf before.
‘I’m closer to 60 than 50 now, so I thought any opportunity to play for at Lords had long passed me by.
‘I owe the entire experience to Dean Morrison.
‘He asked the question whether I had ever played at Lords and when I replied “no,” he arranged for me to be a part of this showcase fixture.’
As if the pre-match butterflies were not already prominent enough, Jenner was asked to captain MCC South, a team in which Guernsey’s Will Peatfield was the only other player he knew.
Coupled with that, the forecast in northwest London on the day threatened rain
The Old Victorian said: ‘If I had just been a normal member of the team, I think I would have been fairly relaxed about the day.
‘However, being asked to captain the side led to a fair few sleepless nights in the build up.
‘I didn’t know anyone apart from Will [Peatfield], so I had to decide where to put players in the order and who would open the bowling based on our conversations and a finite amount of knowledge on the team.
‘Thankfully things all went to plan and everyone got a chance to bowl or bat which was the main aim on the day. The result was just a bonus.
‘Ironically when I walked out to the middle, the rain began to fall harder and I feared my chance to bat at Lords was lost.
‘Fortunately, as if by an act of God, it lightened up and I managed to make 11 runs.’
The event also gave an opportunity for players to extend invites out to family and friends as Lords was fully opened up for the enjoyment of all involved.
Those involved were able to walk the famous halls of the Lords Pavilion, as well as soak in the history on offer around the home of cricket.
‘Having the family and friends there really made the day.
‘I kept thinking that I felt like a kid out there, but there were grandparents of players walking through the halls and looking at some of the old pictures on display, just beaming from ear to ear at the history of the place.
‘It truly was a day for everyone, and something I’ll never forget.’