A WAKEFIELD businessman will take one of world cricket’s most coveted roles later this year after being announced as the next president of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
Wakefield-born Phillip Hodson, who takes up the prestigious post on Saturday, October 1, is chief executive of the Merrie City-based insurance brokers Oval, and is a director of another Wakefield company Hodsons estate agents.
The former Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) pupil was officially announced as the world-famous club’s next president at their AGM.
He will take over from current MCC president Christopher Martin-Jenkins, who nominated Hodson for the role.
Despite Yorkshire’s glittering history in the sport, the former Wakefield Cricket Club player will become only the fourth Yorkshireman to be named as MCC president - and the first from Wakefield.
“It was a great shock to me and an absolute honour,” said Mr Hodson.
“I’ve been involved with MCC for 34 years but I never expected to be president.
“I got a call about two months ago and said that I’d need the weekend (to think about it) because I didn’t know if I’d have the time to fully commit to the role. Obviously MCC is based in London and I’m based in Wakefield and work in offices around the country.
“I came to a decision, accepted the role and I’m completely honoured to take it.”
He continued: “Geoffrey Boycott was the first person to ring me and congratulate me, it’s all been really humbling.”
Mr Hodson, who played cricket for QEGS and started his cricketing career with Wakefield CC aged 11, was on the books with Yorkshire before travelling to South Africa with former Yorkshire cricketer Tim Wilson to teach and play cricket and rugby union.
His association with MCC started in 1977 when he played his first qualifiers for the club, hitting a hundred in just his second match and being elected a member in 1979.
Over 300 games at home and abroad followed for Mr Hodson with MCC and he became a Players and Fixtures sub-committee member in 1987, which he went on to become chairman of in 1993 before moving to the main committee in 2000.
His new role at the home of cricket, Lord’s, will last for a year and Hodson is looking forward to taking his seat.
“There are no nerves I’m just very happy at the chance I’m being given and I’m looking forward to the term,” he said.
“It’s very much a figurehead role but it will involve looking at the development of youth cricket and taking the game to different countries, as well as guarding the laws of the game.
“We’ve taken it to places such as Afghanistan, Holland and Ireland recently and we’ll look to continue that, as well as working with youngsters from school to university level.”
See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport to read the story in full.