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Tony Borrington offers fascinating insight into 1970's cricket

Friday 20th November 2015
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Former Derbyshire batsman Tony Borrington says that the 1970’s were a wonderful era in which to play for the Club.

Now Vice President, Borrington began his career in 1970 and played right through to the 1980’s, scoring over 7,000 runs across all formats in the process.

Borrington was also part of the Derbyshire side who reached the Benson and Hedges Cup Final of 1978, alongside legends such as Peter Kirsten, John Wright and Geoff Miller.

Despite missing out on the Benson and Hedges Cup final that day, Borrington says he was lucky to enjoy such a lengthy career in first-class cricket.

He said: “For anybody who plays cricket or loves cricket, their ambition is always to play first-class cricket.

“I was one of those lucky people that played for the whole of the 1970’s and the early 1980’s. Although I wasn’t a top player myself, I played with and against some of the very top players. It was a wonderful era to play in.”

“County cricket was an international league in the 1970’s. All of the England players played; they weren’t on central contracts and were released to play county cricket.

“All the best players in the world came over here to play because there was no Big Bash and no IPL. This was where they came to earn a living.

“You had a very high standard with two overseas in each team. In that Benson and Hedges Cup Final, we had Peter Kirsten, Eddie Barlow and John Wright.

“That final was a personal disaster because I didn’t score any runs but the team did so well under Barlow.

“He came in 1976 and rejuvenated the whole club. It’s no surprise that Bob Taylor, Mike Hendrick and Geoff Miller really kicked on and became top England Internationals.”

Borrington was the first Derbyshire players to score 2,000 List A runs having begun his career when one-day cricket was being introduced into the county game.

“One-day cricket started in 1969,” he continued, “I started playing in 1970 so I was there right at the beginning. I think I played 120 or 130 one-day games because in those days we played in the John Player Sunday League every week; we played 16 40-over games per season.

“One-day cricket really took off with the crowds that came down here. We had quite a lot of one-day cricket so with me getting to 2,000 List A runs, you have to remember that none of the guys that played in the 1960’s would have any chance to do that.

“I was still delighted to be the first one to get up there and get close to 3,000. I held that record for quite a few years.

“In fact, my friend, Alan Hill, who was known as a bit of a blocker, was the first player to score a Sunday League hundred for Derbyshire and I was the second.”

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