Nick’s rightly delighted with his ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award!
Nick Evans is 75 years young, still taking wickets in local cricket with Narberth, representing Wales over 60s - and was recently the proud recipient of an 'Outstanding Contribution Award' with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Nick was invited up to the second day of the third test match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston and during the lunch interval was welcomed, along with 15 others from all over the UK, to receive his certificate from Nasser Hussein, the former England captain and current Sky Sports' pundit.
His name was announced over the loudspeakers and his presentation was portrayed to the crowd via the big screens at the ground to loud applause in recognition of the work done by Nick with regard to coaching and his work with ladies' cricket.
Warm welcome as part of a memorable day
He was notified that his nomination had been successful by e-mail and he still doesn't know who had nominated him because he would like to say a ‘thank you’ to them for such a memorable day.
"I stayed the night before in a nearby hotel,” Nick told us, “and had to be at the ground's main gate at 10am on the morning where we were met by David Gallagher of the ECB, who gave us our tickets, match programmes and tee shirts which said why we were there as award winners.
"We had superb seats for the game and after the presentation on the pitch during the lunch interval we had a terrific meal in the indoor school, with the chance to chat to others there.
"I will never forget meeting Nasser Hussein because he was really pleasant in chatting to me and there must have been some Pembrokeshire people in the crowd because I could hear them shouting to me."
Long involvement in coaching
Nick wouldn't be one to blow his own trumpet but his award was very apt because he was a founder member of the Pembrokeshire Association of Cricket Coaches which started at the suggestion of former test player Tom Cartwright.
They were the first such association in Wales and used to meet in Ray Kane's kitchen - and Nick is now the only member of that group which started out 35 years ago, and is now even stronger than ever with so many qualified coaches.
He is a Level Two and Welsh Advanced Coach and after being vice chairman and acting chairman at some stage was elevated to the presidency of PACC a while ago.
"I regard it as a great honour," Nick told us, "as I do with being regional manager for all the age groups from under 10 to under 15, and help to organise the coaches and team managers, who now deservedly get paid a little for all their efforts which have seen so many talented players coming through.
Looking back with pride
"In the past we have had Glamorgan players like Dan Cherry (Cresselly) and Andrew Salter (St Ishmaels) - and more recently fast-bowling brothers Jack and Tom Murphy beginning to make the break-through. Jonathan Thomas also played for the county as a nipper but it was in rugby with Wales that he became famous!
"Steve Inward (Llangwm) was another excellent player who passed through our hands before moving 'up the line' and I won't forget him scoring his first century at Kilgetty when he was 11, reaching three figures with a cracking six - or his wonderful hundred under floodlights for the county at Sophia Gardens in the Welsh Under 15s final.
"Then there was Ian Capon as a fine fast bowler whose late father Jack was one of the best players and coaches to be involved in our county."
Long playing career . . .
It would also be fair to say that Nick was no mug himself as a talented off-spin bowler who made his county debut as long ago as 1996 and represented Pembrokeshire over 100 times before he finally retired as a county player in 1994.
He played in a huge number of county finals and since he reached the age of 60 has been heavily involved with Wales as a veteran and with a whole host of county associations from across England, travelling to cricket venues in some exotic and some most unlikely venues across the globe.
"I've played as the oldest member of the Wales' team at over 60 level four times since I went to Edgbaston and we beat Warwickshire, Cheshire and Gloucester (home and away) to qualify for a quarter-final tie against Kent. That makes it nine wins from 12 matches this season and I'm still taking the odd wickets as a bonus!
. . . and as a county club administrator
Back on the administrative front Nick has also been a member of the management committee of the Pembroke County Cricket Club for the past 27 years, the last five as assistant secretary.
Not content with that little lot, Nick also plays for Narberth Seconds most weekends, but always with the proviso that he doesn't keep a youngster out of the team.
"I still enjoy being involved and I've taken quite a few wickets so I will continue as long as I can pull my weight in the team and help the talented youngsters a bit as a bonus!
Travelled the world – and met some great characters
Last November saw Nick playing for the Welsh Over 50s in St Lucia on their West Indies test ground and this November will see him in in Sri Lanka alongside other younger locals in Steve Jones (Burton) and Richard Harris (Cresselly).
"I also had two weeks in February with Warwickshire veterans in South Africa and when we played at Groot Drakenstein we had a special visitor in fast bowling legend Alan Donald and his family, who live nearby, and he popped into our dressing room to say hello, which was a great moment.
"In the past I have also met other cricketing legends like Sir Garfield Sobers but I have to say that my award at Edgbaston was up there with those meetings because it was wonderful to be recognised for something I have always enjoyed doing.
"I have been very lucky to be involved in cricket for so long and I aim to continue playing and coaching for as long as I am able - because Pembrokeshire Cricket is brilliant and I've been very lucky to have made so many friends through the years right around the county!"