LETTER: Welcome to the chairman and director

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After the recent unsavoury backbiting it is a pleasure to welcome the news that Michael Brown has accepted the chairmanship of Burnley Cricket Club and Andy Lamb has been appointed a director.

Michael first crossed my radar as an 11-year-old in 1991. I sat with Chris Mack, Burnley’s Australian professional, at Turf Moor and listened to his opinion of a fair-haired kid, batting in a junior game against Lowerhouse, as “something special”. His appraisal was resoundingly endorsed a few minutes later when Michael whipped a good length ball over square leg and shattered the pavilion window behind us.

He has since gone on to become arguably the best home-grown batsman Burnley has ever produced, making runs consistently for Middlesex, Hampshire and Surrey. A remarkable indication of his quality as an opener came in 2007 when he became only the third batsman in the history of first-class cricket to bat through an innings while a bowler (Otis Gibson for Durham) took all 10 wickets. For good measure Michael followed his first inning’s unbeaten 56 with 126 not out in the second, saving the game for his side as Hampshire, with nine wickets down, hung on for a draw.

With his undoubted cricketing credentials, innate personal modesty and keen mind, Michael will surely have much to offer his old club, though his Surrey duties will mean he cannot replicate the time commitment of his redoubtable predecessor, John Stubbs. He will need and deserve the support of all those with the club’s interests genuinely at heart, including new director Andy Lamb, a model clubman who has never wavered in his devotion to the cause over many years.

As for the childish personal gibes aimed at me by a correspondent in last Friday’s Express, I will resist comment. Nonsense of that kind does not deserve the oxygen of further publicity.