Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Cliff Pocock: Buckinghamshire mourns eminent cricket man

The death of Cliff Pocock at the age of 67 has left a void in Buckinghamshire  cricket.

Pocock, a vice-president at Frieth CC and Henley CC, reached the minor counties umpiring panel and became chairman of Bucks Cricket for 14 years until 2014, devoting much energy to the development of the game after he retired as a British Airways captain.

A friendly, capable umpire in the Home Counties League, he was perhaps best known as a tireless champion of club cricket and for his work with the ECB. He  took a law degree at Oxford Brookes University after he retired and, with his umpiring knowledge and legal background, became a member of the ECB’s  discipline commission, headed by Gerard Elias, QC.

As a county chairman, he helped set up of the Buckinghamshire Cricket Board as a company limited by guarantee and became a trustee for the Bucks Youth Cricket Trust. A small army of people within the game would remember him with affection.
Paul Bedford, the ECB official for recreational cricket, recalled how Pocock liked to ensure the Spirit of Cricket remained at the core of the club game. He said: "My colleagues at ECB that knew Cliff within the cricket family will remember him with affection and great respect. At this sad time our thoughts are with his family and close friends."

Once, Pocock made national news when he was forced to umpire both ends of a minor counties match at Bournemouth in 2006. A report in the Daily Telegraph recorded that his fellow umpire Guy Randall-Johnson felt he had been abused by the former Hampshire batsman Julian Wood, Berkshire's captain, after giving him out leg before wicket for a duck against Dorset. In the absence of an apology Randall-Johnson did not reappear after lunch, leaving the ever-dependable Pocock to keep the match running for two sessions until the end of play.

Cliff Pocock's funeral was held at Amersham on 7 January.