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)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

More

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Ambati Rayudu has to make every opportunity count if he is to play in ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Highlights

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Highlights

MS Dhoni records most stumpings in international cricket during India-England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Jonathan Trott cleared for selection by England’s medical team

Virat Kohli-Ben Stokes involved in verbal spat during India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Former cricket coach Sumit Bose passes away

India trounce England by six wickets in 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge; take unassailable 2-0 series lead

India vs England 2014, 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Suresh Raina dismissed for 42

Ambati Rayudu has to make every opportunity count if he is to play in ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Highlights

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Highlights

MS Dhoni records most stumpings in international cricket during India-England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

667 Posts | 6 Fans

10 Most Unbeatable Records in Cricket

This is the only Apple iPhone 6 leak video you should watch ahead of September 9 launch

Deepika Padukone wishes Ranbir Kapoor and his football club Mumbai City FC good luck!

Beware! sugary drinks may increase risk of cancer and heart disease

HTC to finally unveil two wearables, Desire 820 with 64-bit processor at IFA on September 4

Ebola infected monkeys said to be recovering with ZMapp

Ganesh Festival 2014: Salman Khan’s former co-star Daisy Shah attends Ganpati celebrations at his residence-view pic!

India vs England, 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Jonathan Trott cleared for selection by England’s medical team

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here