Century for Cyril

THE cricketing world has united to congratulate the country’s oldest former first-class player – Cyril Perkins, who later played for Suffolk – as he prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday on Saturday.

The ex-Northants bowler, who is Suffolk’s leading all-time wicket-taker and also coached at Ipswich School, still lives in the town.

Keith Bradshaw, secretary and chief executive of the MCC, the world’s most famous cricket club, said: “A hundred is a special milestone in cricket – batsmen are judged by how many they score and no self-respecting bowler ever wants to concede three figures.

“Cyril Perkins may never have scored a hundred during his first-class career, but I send congratulations from everyone at MCC on the occasion of his reaching a remarkable ton off the field.

“The centenarian’s contribution to cricket is not just limited to playing – his school coaching career means he left a legacy with younger generations. Cyril will have played hundreds of innings during his career – but this is the best of them all. Happy birthday from all at MCC!”

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Former England Ashes winning captain Mike Gatting, who is now managing director of cricket partnerships at the ECB, which administers first-class cricket in this country, also sent his congratulations.

Gatting said: “On behalf of everyone at the ECB, I would like to send many congratulations to Cyril on reaching his century.

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“Cyril can be very proud of the contribution he has made to our game both on and off the field and we trust that June 4th will be a very special day for him and his friends and family.”

Norman Atkins, who is chairman of Suffolk County Cricket Association, added his best wishes on behalf of the county when he said: “If anybody wanted a definition of ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ it is Cyril Perkins.

“Impeccable behaviour on and off the field, friendly, smiling and a real gentleman. A faultless century. Well done Cyril.”

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