Home > Features >

When Catherine Zeta-Jones made her way into Wisden

Catherine Zeta-Jones 9 Getty Images
In 2003 Mumbles Cricket Club President Mark Portsmouth had announced that the first player to hit the ball into Catherine Zeta-Jones’s (above) residence would be rewarded with  £100 © Getty Images

In August 2003 Mumbles Cricket Club had announced a slightly unusual £100 reward to the member who could achieve a certain feat. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at Catherine Zeta-Jones’s brush with cricket.

It was supposed to be another English summer, 2003. The soft aroma of fresh grass, the flutter of the butterflies and damselflies, the vivid yet calm hues of green and blue, the flavour of English breakfast tea, and the magical sound of leather on willow: it was no different from most English summers.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, then married to Michael Douglas for three years, had settled down in a mansion worth a million pounds in Mumbles Village, close to Swansea. It could have been just another celebrity residence, barring the fact that there was a cricket club nearby.

To quote from the Mumbles Cricket Club website, “Cricket has been played in Mumbles village and the Gower Peninsula for more than 130 years.” Mumbles Cricket Club had been around since 1925, but it was probably for the first time that celebrities of this stature had stayed in its vicinity. Mark Portsmouth, the President of the Club, shortly announced that the first player to hit the ball into Zeta-Jones’s s residence will be given a reward of £100.

It was no mean feat to achieve: the distance was an estimated 150 yards, and as per Wisden, the biggest recorded six till date has reached a distance of 175 yards. BBC added: “One thing’s for sure, the ball would have to be hit very hard to break the windows, because they are bullet-proof. Even Andrew Flintoff might have a struggle on his hands.”

Portsmouth, the man who had announced the award, had commented on the same in an interview to BBC: “It would have to be a massive six, but it would be fun if someone did it. Can you imagine them returning the ball?” One could not help but appreciate the President’s judgement of the players’ bravado.

The announcement even made its way to Wisden. It was the same year that the almanac had come out with its inaugural audio-book version; Christopher Martin-Jenkins, no less, had done the voice-over for the event.

As far as knowledge goes, the £100 award has remained unclaimed.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Heroes of India's Test wins in England

Videos

Rahul Dravid reflects on India's historic win at Lord's

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 2 Live Cricket Score: Jayawardene completes 150

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma MS Dhoni South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Sri Lanka dominate the first session of Day 2 against South Africa; post 393/6 at Lunch

Darren Bravo takes Trinidad and Tobago Red Stell to victory with last-ball six against Guyana Amazon Warriors

Mahela Jayawardene completes 7,000 Test runs on Sri Lankan soil; gets to 150 against South Africa

Elton Chigumbura appointed Zimbabwe ODI and T20 captain; Brendan Taylor retained for Tests

Live Streaming: Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo, Day 2

India tour of England 2014: Mohammed Shami has impressed in patches but wickets elude him

India tour of England 2014: Fake Facebook wall of England cricket team after the defeat at Lords

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Kaun Banega Crorepati promo: Amitabh Bachchan won’t let you go empty-handed!

United States accuses Russia of firing artillery at Ukraine

ACT launches new broadband brand ACT Fibernet

India tour of England 2014: Fake Facebook wall of England cricket team after the defeat at Lords

Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra, Karan Johar attend the special screening of Salman Khan’s Kick- View pics!

India tour of England 2014: Mohammed Shami has impressed in patches but wickets elude him

Army chief Bikram Singh pays tribute to Kargil war martyrs

Vodafone sets up customer experience center in Gurgaon

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here