Chesterfield Cricket Lovers' Society

The photo shows (L-R) Neil Swanwick, Daryl Mitchell and Niven Roper

Photo courtesy of John Windle

The Society were pleased to welcome Daryl Mitchell to their very well attended opening meeting of the 2023/24 ‘season’.

Daryl retired at the end of the 2021 season after 17 years as a first team player at New Road to become PCA Chief Operations Officer.

He spoke of his early years in cricket, encouraged by his parents involvement in club cricket. He became a Worcestershire member at 7 years old – and never left!! Cricket was something he really loved at an early age – and still does. Spending the whole of his first-class career at Worcestershire, despite seeing times when other players left for better contracts and after significant success as captain, having that taken from him, he is still Worcestershire’ through and through’, his loyalty to the club shining through throughout the evening. The biggest influence on his career was Damien D’Oliveira, whose mantra was ‘Train Hard – Play Easy’.

After retiring from first -class cricket he became full time Chief Operating Officer, having been elected twice for two-year terms as PCA Chair when he was still playing. Daryl talked about the current work of the PCA, whose membership had increased significantly in the last year with an additional 100 women members. Representing his members on contractual and welfare issues were a large part of his workload, particularly being involved in the discussion on players workload and the effect of changes in the national and international calendar. The PCA were proud of its’ work on Mental Health issues and good programmes were now available for their members. It was interesting to note that the average age of retirement from the game was 26 and such players continued to be assisted.

One of his Worcestershire teammates said of him ‘As a character, Mitch is very level-headed, whether he scores two hundreds in a game or registers two low scores, his mentality does not seem to change. He appears to always have his house in order and does not allow the peaks and troughs of a county summer to get to him. Joe Leach describes him as “one of the most dependable batters on the county circuit, and he is also incredibly well-respected as a bloke.”

These traits were much in evidence during the evening – a very modest, affable and considerate person who, judging by the number of questions asked by members, proved a very popular opener for our season.

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